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          Tech Tuesday: What Rich Guys Think About In Their Spare Time      Cache   Translate Page      
Photo by Justin Dickey on Unsplash
So Bill and Jeff are sitting around the fireplace at Bill's place one evening, sipping wine and chatting about this and that. Jeff is impressed that Bill has a 50-car garage, and a house full of windows. Bill is impressed by the valuation of Jeff's company stock.

The conversation bounces from theme to theme until finally Bill asks, "What are you doing to save the world?"

Jeff reflects on his childhood and recalls a game he used to play with a balloon in which he would keep tapping it upward toward the ceiling so as to keep it from touching the ground. If it hit the ground the world would blow up. In other words, it was a game with high stakes.

Of course high stakes is what made the game exhilarating.  Bill listens quietly as Jeff relates this childhood experience.

"Everything will end at one time or another," Bill says. "I just don't want to be there when it happens."

"Me neither," Jeff said. "That's why I called you tonight. I've had a really hot idea.. It's going to take some capital, but you know how it is. Nothing ventured, nothing gained."

Jeff shared his idea, and Bill liked it.

"Nuclear fusion," Bill said, pondering the sound of the words as he repeated the phrase. "I like it."

Will nuclear fusion be the energy of the future?

EdNote: Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates have thrown a few million tokens into the pot with a handful of others to invest in a startup called General Fusion. The goal is to provide energy for the one billion people in the world who do not yet have energy.

"Can you imagine? If we pull this off, your original dream for Microsoft can actually happen. Every home in the world will be able to have a personal computer."

"Yes," Bill added, "And Amazon will have one billion more potential customers."

"I'll drink to that," Jeff said, lifting his glass.

"Wait. I should fetch a bottle of Chateau Petrus 2015 red," Bill interrupted.

"Just a sec," Jeff said, setting his glass on an oak end table. "What about Heaven's Door? You wouldn't--"

"I do," said Bill. "Do you prefer the Tennessee Bourbon or the Double Barrel Whiskey?"

Jeff laughs. "I like the Straight Rye."

"Rye not," Bill says, chuckling at his wry humor.

There's no record of how the rest of the evening went.... for what it's worth, here's the rest of the story.

* * * *
Follow the link below to see what it's really all about.
Will Nuclear Fusion Be the Energy of the Future?
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/03/06/bezos-microsoft-bet-on-a-10-trillion-energy-fix-for-the-planet.html

EdNote: Other than the links, this blog post is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to what really happened is purely coincidence.
* * * *
Related Links
Bob Dylan's Foray into the Whiskey Business
Heaven's Door Whiskey

          Brazil pension reform chief sticks to savings target and May vote      Cache   Translate Page      
BRASILIA, March 12- Brazil's government is sticking to its goal of having its pension reform bill, with promised public savings of more than 1 trillion reais over the next decade, ready for a vote in the lower house of Congress by the end of May. In an interview with Reuters in Brasilia on Tuesday, Rogerio Marinho, secretary of social security and labor at the Economy...
          CEO Says Wells Fargo Has Transformed After Scandals; Lawmakers Are Skeptical      Cache   Translate Page      
Wells Fargo has undergone a radical transformation since it was mired in scandals that resulted in billions of dollars in penalties and fines, the bank's CEO, Tim Sloan, told lawmakers Tuesday. But House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., did not appear to believe him. She called Wells Fargo "a recidivist financial institution." "Wells Fargo's ongoing lawlessness and failure to right the ship suggests the bank — with approximately $1.9 trillion in assets and serving one in three U.S. households is simply too big to manage," Waters said. Sloan faced hours of aggressive questioning from both Republicans and Democrats. They cast doubt on his claim that the bank had reformed since being caught opening fraudulent accounts and overcharging for mortgage and auto loans . They also pressed Sloan to account for a recent report that unethical practices persist with the bank's debt collection and mortgage origination. In his opening remarks , Sloan said his company
          Trump's Budget: Huge Cuts To Medicare And Medicaid      Cache   Translate Page      
Trump's Budget: Huge Cuts To Medicare And Medicaid

Right about now is when Prznint Stupid is going to be releasing his budget proposal for the year; it’s been delayed because of the gubmint shutdown, but you know, no one is mentioning that.

We should note for the record that budget proposals from the White House are not based in reality, and they usually arrive moribund. The prznint’s budget proposal is more about showing where Hair Füror’s priorities are than anything else, and boy-howdy, what low priorities does he have:

The president’s plan seeks deep cuts from agencies like the Department of Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency and the State Department. At the same time it would spend $8.6 billion on a border wall with Mexico and boost defense spending to $750 billion, both items sure to raise intense opposition from Democrats.

Calling for a total of $2.7 trillion in reductions over 10 years, the Trump administration is also taking aim at safety net programs, including hundreds of billions in cuts to Medicare and a request to drum up savings by imposing new restrictions on food stamps, housing assistance and aid to families that don’t make enough money to provide for their children.

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          Vos' "no tax" blockade on Wisconsin's future.       Cache   Translate Page      
The message has been mindlessly simple for years; cut taxes, cut spending, it's our money not the governments...etc! The conservative vision of government never made any real world sense.

What Scott Walker and Wisconsin Republicans have been pushing is another version of The Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR). It's meant to create a crippling effect, an arbitrary spending limit, so Republicans can put the state economy into fiscal paralysis for years. What ever happened to "spending money to make money?" Reinvesting it in our economy, paying down debt, and upgrading a crumbling infrastructure is not their thing. 

The GOP's ratcheting down effect starts with the idea that extra budget revenue is excess, and has to be sent back, what Republicans claim "is your money, not the governments." That's what happened when George W. Bush, who was lucky enough to have inherited a balanced budget from Bill Clinton, took "surpluses as far as the eye could see" and passed them out as tax cuts instead of paying down the nation debt...which approaching $20 trillion. 

And the Trump tax cut? We now know that none of the following predictions panned out:
The most substantial tax overhaul since the Reagan years has sparked ... at least 285 companies announcing wage increases, bonuses, and higher 401(k) matches for 3 million workers. Utility companies are reducing rates in response to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Nope. Here's a thought that makes so much sense...:
Reductions in taxes deepen the amount of government debt and increase the leverage of the wealthy over any nations politics. Such tax cuts also straight-jacket government, reducing its ability to deliver the expected goods to popular majorities. Moreover, hikes in taxes and fees paid by the working classes are used to make up for tax reductions on the wealthy. Therefore, the more many Americans pay, the less they seem to get in return, fueling their increasing distrust and disgruntlement about the role of government in their lives. 
The GOP's Far Right Freeloader Class is Proud of their "Pay Later" Policies: Assembly leader Robin Vos continues to deny the voters changing priorities. In this video clip from Upfront, Vos' "no tax" obsession defies common sense and debate, straitjacketing the state's ability to move forward. But it does preserves the GOP's political ideology in amber, just like those pesky prehistoric insects.

There's an answer to "there's not enough money in the checkbook;" stop cutting taxes and reinvest now. While some are discussing a "basic income" for future generations that will be paid less and lack benefits, Vos is blissfully unaware of these concerns, all the while strapping our kids with even higher taxes. But then it's not his problem:



Note: Vos claims "I would prefer tax cut for everyone who pays taxes." Well, Gov. Evers' proposal to cut just the middle class tax bracket would also go to the wealthy, so Vos Republicans continue to mislead their constituents playing them for suckers. Remember when we found out rich Mitt Romney paid an effective tax rate of 14 percent tax.

I think someone can't get over his party losing the governors race. Wisconsinites now want to try it Evers' way. 

          3/12/2019: Business: T      Cache   Translate Page      
he size of the wealth and asset management sector at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is now worth $424 billion (Dh1.56 trillion) according to Eisa Kazim, Governor of DIFC. Speaking at the Global Financial Forum hosted by the DIFC in Dubai,...
          CEO Says Wells Fargo Has Transformed After Scandals; Lawmakers Are Skeptical      Cache   Translate Page      
Wells Fargo has undergone a radical transformation since it was mired in scandals that resulted in billions of dollars in penalties and fines, the bank's CEO, Tim Sloan, told lawmakers Tuesday. But House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., did not appear to believe him. She called Wells Fargo "a recidivist financial institution." "Wells Fargo's ongoing lawlessness and failure to right the ship suggests the bank — with approximately $1.9 trillion in assets and serving one in three U.S. households is simply too big to manage," Waters said. Sloan faced hours of aggressive questioning from both Republicans and Democrats. They cast doubt on his claim that the bank had reformed since being caught opening fraudulent accounts and overcharging for mortgage and auto loans . They also pressed Sloan to account for a recent report that unethical practices persist with the bank's debt collection and mortgage origination. In his opening remarks , Sloan said his company
          Trump proposes record spending, trillion-dollar deficit      Cache   Translate Page      
Trump_Border_Wall_78508President Donald Trump proposed a record $4.7 trillion budget on Monday, pushing the federal deficit past $1 trillion but counting on optimistic growth, accounting shuffles and steep domestic cuts to bring future spending into balance in 15 years.
          Five Key Trends for Professional and Continuing Education Leaders in the Next Five Years      Cache   Translate Page      
Ray Schroeder, the Evolllution Higher education is on the cusp of major changes. Enrollments are on the decline—both online and on campus—and the trend is expected to accelerate.[1] Graduates are laboring under substantial college loan debts totaling more than $1.5 trillion.[2] Employers are demanding that applicants possess soft and hard skills that many college graduates […]
          Or Said They Did      Cache   Translate Page      
I can't tell what these people actually believe or if they're just conning investors.

Uber thought it would have 75,000 autonomous vehicles on the roads this year and be operating driverless taxi services in 13 cities by 2022, according to court documents unsealed last week. To reach those ambitious goals, the ridesharing company, which hopes to go public later this year, was spending $20 million a month on developing self-driving technologies.

The figures, dating back to 2016, paint a picture of a company desperate to meet over-ambitious autonomy targets and one that is willing to spend freely, even recklessly, to get there. As Uber prepares for its IPO later this year, the new details could prove an embarrassing reminder that the company is still trailing in its efforts to develop technology that founder Travis Kalanick called “existential” to Uber’s future.

I was thinking a bit why all of this has been so dumb, and one reason is that the barrier isn't (yet) even just that they can't build a reasonably cheap car, it's they can't build one at all. If I said, "here's eleventy trillion dollars, put a single level 4+/5- self-driving car on the road that would truly work well enough to be a robo taxi that would operate more cheaply than one with a driver within 18 months" I'm pretty sure it couldn't be done. Maybe I'm too pessimistic. Maybe they could with eleventy trillion! But the point is you aren't going to be rolling these things off the assembly line at $100,000 a pop any time soon because you couldn't even roll them off the assembly line at $100,000,000 a pop.

It isn't about making the technology more efficient or cost-effective or whatever, it's about making the technology at all. It just does not exist. They can't say, "well, we can do this, but sadly the sensors cost $10,000,000 per car so we need to figure out how to make them more cheaply." They just can't do it.
          "Vehicle purchases and student loans — whether for themselves or their children — are two of the..."      Cache   Translate Page      

Vehicle purchases and student loans — whether for themselves or their children — are two of the biggest contributors to increasing debt for older Americans. People 60 and up had total debt of $615 billion in 2017, according to TransUnion, which is less than millennials owe on student loans alone.

Americans 60 and older held 21 percent of total automotive balances in 2017, vs. 12 percent in 2010, TransUnion said. Auto loans now account for $246 billion, or 40 percent, of their total debt.

For all Americans, fast-rising student loan debt is sapping income they could have used for other purposes, including a vehicle. More than a quarter of millennials with student loan debt have delayed buying a car because of it, according to a survey by Bankrate.com released in February, with the Midwest as the region most likely to cite loans holding back a vehicle purchase.

Mark Hamrick, Bankrate’s senior economic analyst, told Automotive News that many Americans are struggling with their finances even in a strong economy.

“It’s not unusual for many small towns in this country to have essentially not participated in the economic expansion in the past 10 years,” Hamrick said. “It doesn’t surprise me that the Midwest would be having some warning lights going off there.”

Student loan debt, which totaled $1.46 trillion in the fourth quarter for all ages, also is preventing younger Americans from purchasing homes, getting married and saving for retirement and emergencies, the Bankrate study found.



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Saddled with debt, young adults lean on parents to buy cars


          Trump's $4.7 trillion budget would slash Medicare — and, yes, build (some of) the wall      Cache   Translate Page      
Trump proposed budget has deep cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and EPA, but he wants $8.6 billion for the wall
          Trump proposes $4.7 tn budget for 2020, to balance by 2034      Cache   Translate Page      

Washington: US President Donald Trump presented to the Congress a budget proposal for fiscal year 2020 that contained stiff spending cuts across non-defence federal agencies, and a hike in defence money.

According to the USD 4.7 trillion budget proposal, the Trump administration plans to cut domestic spending by 5 percent over the next year, or a nearly USD 30-billion-dollar, involving programs on education, health care and environment protection, among others, Xinhua news agency reported.

The budget blueprint proposes a USD 2.7 trillion spending cuts over the next decade, including USD 1.9 trillion in cuts to mandatory programmes, a senior administration official told a briefing on Monday. The official said the budget "will have more reductions in spending than any president in history has even proposed."

The budget plan foresees a USD 1.1 trillion deficit in 2019, 2020 and 2021, and a 1-trillion-dollar deficit in 2022. The administration predicts that the United States will return to budget balance in 2034.

The budget roadmap, designed for fiscal year 2020 that starts on Oct. 1, would increase defence spending by nearly 5 percent to USD 750 billion from USD 716 billion in fiscal year 2019.

It also seeks USD 8.6 billion for constructing additional sections of a wall along the US border with Mexico -- USD 5 billion in funding for the Department of Homeland Security and USD 3.6 billion for the Department of Defense's military construction fund.


          Americans Apparently Happy to Support Green New Deal – So Long as Others Pay for It      Cache   Translate Page      
Americans aren’t willing to spend even small amounts of their own money fighting climate change. But many are willing to have other people foot the bill. That is shown by their support for the incredibly expensive and impractical “Green New Deal.” To pay for that flaky proposal, its sponsors have proposed tax increases on utilities, borrowing vast amounts of additional money, and having the government print trillions of dollars of new money to finance it. Printing money on that scale would ultimately result in hyperinflation.
          Rep. Seth Moulton: $1.9 Trillion Added to Deficit Because of Tax Cut Law Could Pay for 220 Entire Border Walls      Cache   Translate Page      
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), vice chairman of the House Budget Committee, said Tuesday that the $1.9 trillion that President Donald Trump has added to the budget deficit through the tax cut law is enough to pay for 220 border walls.
          THE YUGE REPUBLICAN LIE ABOUT THE DEFICITWhen asked...      Cache   Translate Page      


THE YUGE REPUBLICAN LIE ABOUT THE DEFICIT

When asked about America’s soaring debt and deficits, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell lamented  “It’s disappointing, but it’s not a Republican problem,” and he blames Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Rubbish. It’s not social spending that’s causing the federal deficit to soar. It’s Republican tax cuts, especially on corporations and the wealthy. 

Look at the evidence. Of all 35 advanced economies, America’s spending on social programs like Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid is among the lowest, as you can see.

Also, Americans pay into Social Security and Medicare throughout their entire working lives. 

The biggest reason America has the highest deficit relative to our total economy among all 35 advanced economies is because of a shortage of tax revenue. Of all these countries, we’re bringing in the fifth-lowest total revenue as a share of GDP.

And why is that? Mainly because of Republican tax cuts on corporations and the wealthy. The big Trump Republican tax cut is already breaking the bank. It will cost us 1.9 trillion dollars over the next decade. Let me repeat that: 1.9 trillion dollars. 

Remember, Trump and Republicans in Congress claimed that their tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations would pay for themselves by boosting economic growth. It’s the same trickle-down fairy tale they’ve been telling for decades. But according to the Congressional Budget Office, they haven’t paid for themselves, and the deficit continues to balloon. 

If there’s one area where America spends too much, it’s the military. Since taking office, Trump has increased military spending by more than $200 billion a year, straining the federal budget even further. The United States already spends more on the military than the next 10 nations combined. 

Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump, and other Republicans in Washington want to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. That’s been the Republican goal for decades. And they want to use the deficit to justify these cuts.

They also argue that we can’t afford a comprehensive healthcare system that the rest of the advanced world has figured out how to afford. 

Baloney. If the rich and corporations pay their fair share and we rein in defense spending, America can afford what we need. 

Know the truth. Spread the truth about the deficit.


          China to invest $134-223 billion in 5G networks during 2020-2025: Report      Cache   Translate Page      

  China’s three mobile carriers are currently carrying out 5G field trials in urban areas across the Asian country China is expected to invest CNY900 billion-CNY1.5 trillion billion ($134 billion – $223 billion) in the deployment of  5G networks during the 2020-2025 period,  Digitimes reported, citing information from the China Academy of Information and Communications [...]

The post China to invest $134-223 billion in 5G networks during 2020-2025: Report appeared first on RCR Wireless News.


          DOJ seeks $72M to hire more than 100 immigration judges, attorneys to help clear massive asylum backlog      Cache   Translate Page      
In its budget request for the upcoming fiscal year, the Justice Department said it needs over $72 million to fund the “stronger enforcement of the nation’s immigration laws,” according to materials released Monday, in an aggressive move intended to reduce the nation's backlog of asylum cases dramatically.
As part of his fiscal year 2020 budget plan totaling $4.7 trillion, which was unveiled Monday and faced immediate pushback in Congress, President Trump is also seeking billions more in funding for a border wall and controversial work requirements for Americans collecting a variety of welfare benefits.
The DOJ, for its part, said it's aimed to hire more than 100 new immigration judges and support staff, including hundreds of, “attorneys, judicial law clerks, legal assistants and administrative support staff, including interpreters.”
The goal would be to have 659 immigration judges in place by sometime in 2020, officials said in the budget request. There are currently 412 immigration judges...MORE
          3/13/2019: NEWS OPINION: In the red      Cache   Translate Page      

President Donald Trump’s 2020 budget proposal, released Monday, would add $4.8 trillion to the national debt over the next five years.
          Five Key Trends for Professional and Continuing Education Leaders in the Next Five Years      Cache   Translate Page      
Ray Schroeder, the Evolllution Higher education is on the cusp of major changes. Enrollments are on the decline—both online and on campus—and the trend is expected to accelerate.[1] Graduates are laboring under substantial college loan debts totaling more than $1.5 trillion.[2] Employers are demanding that applicants possess soft and hard skills that many college graduates […]
          Will Smith is less blue in another new trailer for Aladdin      Cache   Translate Page      

About a month ago, Disney released a trailer for its upcoming live-acton Aladdin remake, the latest part in its 100-part plan to weaponize your nostalgia and make several trillion dollars. There was a lot to talk about in that trailer, but almost immediately, conversation turned to the fact that Will Smith, who plays the Genie, was blue […]

The post Will Smith is less blue in another new trailer for Aladdin appeared first on Winter is Coming.


          the cost of the War on Terror: $6 trillion since 9/11 - NewsWeek      Cache   Translate Page      
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          Trump Budget Dude: THANKS OBAMA      Cache   Translate Page      


Yesterday's great big dipshit presser was the actual press briefing in more than 40 days, and Sarah Huckabee Sanders got most of the attention for saying you'll have to ask Democrats whether Donald Trump thinks Dems hate Jews. (Answer from a Democrat, me: He definitely thinks so if it gets applause.) But the presser started off with a pitch by Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget Russell Vought, proclaiming that Donald Trump had met all his campaign promises by submitting a budget that, if enacted by Congress, will make the federal budget disappear eventually by slashing everything but the military. So please, nobody mention the debt-'sploding Big Fat Tax Cuts for Rich Fuckwads, OK -- they would pay for themselves, but Barack Obama and Congress -- controlled up to two months ago by Republicans -- eated all the money.

Here's the whole gory mess. We like Vought's big grin at "Happy Budget Day," since it may someday be the illustrative photo for "Death's-Head Rictus."


Live: White House Press Briefing - 3/11 www.youtube.com

But wait, Mr. Vought, what about Donald Trump's promise to eliminate the debt in eight years, not that anyone but idiots believed him?

As Salon notes, there's a bit of an economics problem with the accusation that Obama "doubled the national debt." Deficit spending was necessary to get us out of the Great Recession and keep the economy from going into a full-blown depression. Oh yes, and Vought is doing a little sleight of the Invisible Hand when he says Trump's first budget would have "balanced the budget" within 10 years (through massive cuts to everything except the military and giveaways to the rich). That would mean an end to the annual budget deficit, not the debt. And just a reminder: Republicans only pretend to give a shit about debt when they want to cut social programs. When the debt balloons because of tax cuts or military spending, it's wonderful!

Hell, Vought even defends deficit spending himself in the clip, except of course it's good and necessary when Trump does it, but it was terrible when Obama did. When the reporter notes the tax cuts and increased military spending added $2 trillion-with-a-t to the debt, Vought patiently explains that, for a few seconds at least, he's a Keynesian:

[Trump] also came into office and had an economic recovery that was needed, to put people back to work and get the economy going, and to rebuild the military, and had historic levels of military...

Why, yes, that is all a lie. Dude is literally claiming there was a recession when Trump took office -- that's the only thing that a "recovery" follows. We also like all that Congress-blaming, because damn that spendy Republican Congress, huh?

Then another reporter asked Vought how he could say "promises made, promises kept" when Trump's budget slashes Medicare by 10 percent (not that Congress will do that anyway). Surprise, just as we predicted, there are NO "CUTS" to Medicare in this budget, merely reductions in "waste, fraud, and abuse," and also magically lower prescription drug costs. OK, and cuts to the rates paid to hospitals, which aren't cuts, they're efficiencies, you know.

And going back to that bit about the need to stimulate the economy: Hey, if the economy is roaring along under Trump, why did he need to kick-start it with tax cuts that didn't decrease the deficit, and also didn't result in a bejillion new jobs? WHAR MASSIVE GROWTH? Well duh, of course the trickle-down magic only works if Congress slashes spending on anything that's not loved by Republicans, and next year we'll go through this whole stupid supply-side kindergarten pageant again.

[Salon / CBSN on Youtube / Aaron Rupar on Twitter]

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          Bye Bye Love. Wonkagenda For Tues., March 12, 2019      Cache   Translate Page      


Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.


There's so much fuckery in Trump's $4.75 trillion budget, we don't have nearly enough time to go through everything. Politico has a list of some of the winners and losers, the former being his golf buddies and Betsy DeVos, and the latter being poor people, the sick, and the elderly (thanks to massive cuts in Medicare and Medicaid previously sold as TrumpCare). WaPo notes that the administration is living in a complete fantasy believing that the economy is doing fine, counter to the analysis from every math geek who's ever used an abacus. Yesterday, OMB Director Russ Vought told reporters that it wasn't actually the Trump tax cuts (for the super rich) that ballooned the national debt, it was Obama. Earlier in the day, Vought appeared on CNBC to bitch and moan about the Mexican-Muslim taco truck invasion of the southern border, arguing that WALL was more important than sick, old, and/or poor people, and stated, "We're tired of being right." US TOO, BUDDY. Meanwhile, the GOP revolt over Trump's border wall has flipped Congress on its head as members consider measures ranging from overriding Trump's national emergency declaration, to limiting the presidential power to declare national emergencies.

In a bigass profile in WaPo, Nancy Pelosi finally said what's been hinted at for two years -- that she doesn't want to impeach Trump "unless there's something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan ... because it divides the country. And he's just not worth it." Some Democrats pushed back strongly on Pelosi's remarks, with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez noting Trump met "the Lindsey Graham standard" for impeachment "multiple times." In speaking with Politico, House Oversight Chair Elijah Cummings called impeachment a "political process," and added, "You've got to have bipartisanship. Right now you've got 40 something percent of the country pleased, I guess, with what the president's doing. I think Pelosi realizes this."

Dick Cheney ripped Mike Pence a new asshole at a private meeting in Georgia over the weekend at a forum for a conservative think tank, according to a leaked transcript of the event. The war hawk criticized the Trump administration's foreign policy as being more limpwristed than Obama, complaining that Trump's idea to demand protection money from allies "sounded like a new York state real estate deal." Pence responded by reportedly asking, "Who wrote these softball questions?"

In a rare showing of bipartisan rebuke of the Trump administration, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have invited the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to Washington to address a joint session of Congress later this spring. The invite comes as Trump moves to charge US allies protection money to the tune of "cost plus 50."

Massachusetts Democratic Senator and 2020 candidate Elizabeth Warren suddenly found her ads calling for Facebook to be broken up taken down by Facebook. Facebook issued a statement saying the ads violated their policy of using its logos in advertising. Though the ads were later restored, they kind of proved Warren's point that Facebook is too goddamn big. Politico is stirring the pot this morning with a story about Warren taking money from Silicon Valley employees and selling her books on Amazon ... over the last decade.

Senators Ed Markey and Josh Hawley say they plan introduce a bill to amend the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). The bill would reportedly extend protections of children up to 15-years-old, and bar platforms from targeting ads at kids under 13. Roll Call notes it's unlikely to become a law even though multiple states and the EU have already moved forward with strict data privacy regulations aimed at keeping companies from fiddling with kids' heads. Here's an example of COPPA laws in action.

Democrats have chosen Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for their 2020 nominating convention. In a tweet, the party stated Milwaukee was "more than equipped."

Wayne's World (8/10) Movie CLIP - Alice's History Lesson (1992) HD www.youtube.com

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says her office was "thorough and professional" when it "thoroughly and appropriately" investigated sexual harassment allegations from a female staffer against Gillibrand's longtime driver and military adviser. In a brief scrum with reporters, Gillibrand said she has full confidence about the "professional and thorough" investigation that was now "thorough and complete." He must be a good man, and thorough.

Former Democratic Rep. Beto O'Rourke is headed to Iowa to help state Senate candidate Eric Giddens in a special election while simultaneously reaching out to former Obama people and courting activists. Beto hasn't announced #HesRunning (yet), but political wizards think it's just a matter of time.

Former Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams clarified remarks she made at SXSW stating she hadn't decided if #ShesRunning in 2020, and said the possibility was "on the table." Abrams's initial remarks were that she kept a spreadsheet with gigs she wanted, and 2028 would have been the earliest she would run for president.

According to court records, a Roy Moore supporter pleaded the Fifth 65 TIMES when asked if he had tried to bribe the lawyer representing one of Moore's accusers to drop the client and issue a damning statement to Breitbart. What initially started as a defamation suit has grown to engulf Steve Bannon's rightwing shit rag. SCANDAL!

Those rascally radicals in antifa have dug up racist and anti-Semitic chat logs from from Bennet Bressman, the statewide field director for Nebraska's uber rich Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts. The 22-year-old Bressman says the logs, which date back to last year, were from a long time ago and no longer reflect who he is as a person, though screenshots of Bressman's social media accounts show him teaching people about "chad nationalism," joking about running down Black Lives Matter activists with his white car, dropping n-bombs and racial stereotypes, as well as old fashioned gay-hatin'. [Logs]

Current Florida man and former Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage started cold calling radio shows (again) to say those damn dirty Democrats get all their money from the JEEWWZZ, and that Rep. Ilhan Omar "completely vindicated" his long history of hate mongering. [Audio]

As British Prime Minister Theresa May faces the rapidly approaching zero for a "no-deal" Brexit scenario, the EU and UK agreed to a changes over the Irish backstop and permanent customs union. HOWEVER, the EU signaled the changes are by no means an end to negotiations just as a number of British MPs sounded off about their reluctance to support May's deal. If you're confused, don't worry, so is everyone else.

A new UN report says North Korea is cleverly avoiding oil, coal, and weapons sanctions, and hacking foreign banks to make some quick cash -- and that's on top of all the shady weapons testing programs they've quietly started back up. The report even includes photos of North Korean ships disguised as trading vessels illegally transferring energy and materials on the high seas, as well as the regime's smuggling of weapons to Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, possible gold-mining in the Republic of Congo, and supplying Uganda with military training and weapons.

Lawyers for Roger Stone say they "clumsily" tried to tell the court about Roger Stone's book, and that they'd like to "move ahead without further ado," HOWEVER emails from Stone to his publisher show Stone bitching about a gag order interfering with his book sales, arguing for more money, and demanding fewer copies of the book be printed.

The Senate Intel Committee met with Simona Mangiante, the wife of George Papadopoulos, to ask about her old boss, ALLEGED Russian spy Joseph Mifsud. Mangiante told WaPo that she was "happy to provide information," emphatically adding, "Definitely not because I am a Russian spy." [No, she said that!]

Tucker Carlson refused to apologize for sexist and misogynist comments made to a shock jock's radio show unearthed by Media Matters. Tucker likened the campaign to have him and Jeanine Pirro "You're Fired" to a "mob" in a defiant monologue, and stated he planned to "fight it" while crying on the shoulder of Sean Hannity. Media Matters later released MORE damning audio of Tucker where he claims "white men" were responsible for "creating civilization," waxes philosophical about THE BLACKNESS of the Obamas, and whines that Iraqi people aren't "human beings" because they "don't use toilet paper or forks," and that they're actually, "semiliterate primitive monkeys," Shortly after Tucker's monologue, Fox News host Brit Hume tweeted, "Doing well is the best revenge," and linked to Tucker's TV ratings. Meanwhile, Variety's Brian Steinberg noted Tucker didn't have many ads during his show, and that's not a good sign (for him).

Two of the most prominent NRA board members tell the New York Times that NRATV's hard-right turn into fear mongering of apocalyptic race riots, ALLEGED grift, and shady Russian fuckery has forced them to reconsider what the hell they're all doing. Apparently Dana Loesch putting Thomas the Tank in a KKK hood was a little too much, even for gun fetishists chumming red meat.

After the Westboro Baptist Church decided to take a field trip to the Virginia state capitol and protest the state's first and only openly transgender lawmaker, Del. Danica Roem, the lead singer of heavy metal band Lamb of God organized a counter-protest with free kazoos. Several hundred people turned out in support of Roem, who herself fronts a local heavy metal band, and chased out the hate group out within 30 minutes.

And here's your morning Nice Time! A KIWI CHICK!

Second Kiwi Chick of 2019 Hatches at Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute www.youtube.com

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          Trump’s Budget Proposes 2.7 Trillion in Cuts – Largest Budget Cut In US History?      Cache   Translate Page      

Trumps biggest disappointment over his tenure (from our point of view) was spending. But he appears to be trying to rectify that. I’d question the timing. We’d have had a good deal more success cutting the budget with Republican majorities in both chambers, which is to say, at least a snowball’s chance in hell. With …

Trump’s Budget Proposes 2.7 Trillion in Cuts – Largest Budget Cut In US History? Read More »

The post Trump’s Budget Proposes 2.7 Trillion in Cuts – Largest Budget Cut In US History? appeared first on Granite Grok.


          The Opening Bell: Where currencies start on Tuesday, March 12, 2019      Cache   Translate Page      

By the XE Corporate team

The NZDUSD opens higher at 0.6821 this morning.

The NZDUSD was pushed back above the 0.6800 level overnight after mixed US retail sales data hurt the USD.

US retail sale for January rose 0.2%, comfortably beating expectations of 0.0%, however, December’s figures were revised 0.4% lower to -1.6%, damaging any positive USD sentiment.

The GBP rose for the first time in eight sessions amid optimism Brexit could be delayed and that Prime Minister Theresa May was preparing to offer an amended version of her Brexit deal ahead of a trio of crucial votes in Parliament.

US President Trump released his fiscal 2020 budget blueprint overnight. He is seeking the largest-ever cuts to domestic discretionary spending (including the Environment Protection Agency, departments of State, Energy, Transportation and Agriculture), boosts to defence spending, plus USD$8.6 billion for his beloved wall. The blueprint also forecasts annual deficits beyond the next 10 years and rising national debt, which already exceed USD$16 trillion.

There is no data scheduled on the NZ calendar today.

Business confidence figures from Australia hit the wires this afternoon, followed by US inflation data overnight.

Global equity markets were higher on the day - Dow +0.6%, S&P 500 +1.3%, FTSE +0.4%, DAX +0.8%, CAC +0.7%, Nikkei +0.5%, Shanghai +1.9%.

Gold prices fell 0.5% to USD$1,292 an ounce, while WTI Crude Oil prices jumped 1.1% to US$56.74 per barrel.

Current indicative rates:

NZDUSD 0.6821 0.4%
NZDEUR  0.6068 0.4%
NZDGBP 0.5195 -0.7%
NZDJPY 75.88 0.5%
NZDAUD 0.9666 0.1%
NZDCAD 0.9151 0.4%
GBPNZD 1.9249 0.7%

Upcoming Data releases (NZST):

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          TKC MUST READ!!! KANSAS CITY CONGRESSMAN CLEAVER CONDEMNS PREZ TRUMP BUDGET AS 'LACKING IN VALUES' AND EXPLAINS LOCAL IMPACT!!!       Cache   Translate Page      


Tonight we remind our beloved and faithful reader community that money and allocations are the true source of so much political divisiveness despite culture war distractions. And so we offer this glimpse of Kansas City's top ranking elected official sharing this SCATHING INDICTMENT of the new budget proposed by Prez Trump.

Checkit:


Congressman Cleaver Releases Statement on President Trump’s Budget Request for FY2020

President Trump’s budget request is short-sided and lacking in values

March 12, 2019

(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II released the following statement regarding President Trump’s Budget Request for FY 2020.

“President Trump’s slashing of crucial healthcare funds and assistance for farmers and working families is a true reflection of his values. The budget demonstrates a severe lack of empathy or understanding of how these cuts will hurt the people of this country…and to add insult to injury, his budget requests, take away healthcare funding, housing initiatives and environmental safety, all while adding a trillion dollars to the nation’s deficit annually.

President Trump is proposing one of the largest ever cuts to domestic spending at nine percent. His proposals call for cutting Medicare by $845 billion over 10 years and slashing Medicaid by $241 billion over 10 years. In addition, he and the GOP’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, threatens Americans in need of health insurance and those seeking coverage with pre-existing conditions.

The President’s proposed budget would also slash funding to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Cutting funding to HUD by 16 percent would eliminate vital programs to repair public housing for low-income families and programs such as the Housing Trust Fund, which serves households with the lowest incomes, and the HOME Investment Partnership Program that helps local governments and states address housing challenges.

This budget request will hurt farmers and rural residents who are already struggling with a crisis because of the President’s trade tariffs and depressed commodity prices. The United States Department of Agriculture, (USDA) would face cuts of almost 15 percent, impacting programs across the board. Crop insurance, which many farmers depend on as a safety net, would be cut by $26 billion over 10 years. Families in rural areas depending upon food assistance programs such as SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, to keep food on the table, will struggle to feed their loved ones.

Lastly, this budget fails to protect Americans’ public health and clean air and water by slashing funding by 31 percent to the Environmental Protection Agency. The President is putting Americans at risk.

The President would rather reduce funding for low-income families so that he can dramatically increase the defense budget to $750 billion next year. Thankfully, these are not my values or those of the Democratic House of Representatives, and I am confident that Congress will enact a budget that is true to our principles and to our constituents.”

Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II

(D-MO)
#################

Further reading that we tried to compile from both sides of the aisle:

Fox News: President Trump seeks $8.6 billion for his border wall, setting up budget battle with Democrats

CNBC: Education Dept. faces 10% funding cut under Trump's 2020 budget proposal

Daily Caller: Trump’s Budget Aims To Finish Border Wall, Cut Spending

Vox: Trump’s budget request slashes retirement benefits for 2 million federal workers

CNBC: Trump’s budget could open up this tax-free savings account to people on Medicare

LA Times: Trump’s budget would eviscerate the social safety net but provide welfare for the rich

Wired: Trump's Budget Guts Science Agencies—But Favors the Moon

You decide . . .
          Rep. Seth Moulton: $1.9 Trillion Added to Deficit Because of Tax Cut Law Could Pay for 220 Entire Border Walls      Cache   Translate Page      
Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), vice chairman of the House Budget Committee, said Tuesday that the $1.9 trillion that President Donald Trump has added to the budget deficit through the tax cut law is enough to pay for 220 border walls.
          Who loses most in President Trump’s new budget plan?      Cache   Translate Page      
President Trump’s $4.7 trillion budget is being called “heartless” in one op-ed because it slashes funding for the poor while boosting spending for the military. Ali Velshi is joined by PBS Newshour White House Correspondent Yamiche Alcindor to discuss who would lose the most in Trump’s plan.
          The Global Economy Is A Time Bomb Waiting To Explode      Cache   Translate Page      

Authored by Marshall Auerback via TruthDig.com,

In the aftermath of the greatest financial calamity since the Great Depression, then–chief of staff for the Obama administration Rahm Emanuel made the call for aggressive action to prevent a recurrence of the meltdown of 2008.

Although the U.S. government’s system of checks and balances typically produces incremental reform, Emanuel suggested that during times of financial upheaval, the traditional levers of powers are often scrambled, thereby creating unique conditions whereby legislators could be pushed in the direction of more radical reform. That’s why he suggested that we should never let a crisis go to waste. Ironically, that might be the only pearl of wisdom we ever got from the soon-to-be ex-mayor of Chicago, one of those figures who otherwise embodied the worst Wall Street-centric instincts of the Democratic Party. But give Rahm props for this one useful insight.

But we did let the crisis of 2008 go to waste. Rather than reconstructing a new foundation out of the wreckage, we simply restored the status quo ante, and left the world’s elite financial engineers with a relatively free hand to create a wide range of new destructive financial instruments.

To cite some examples, consider the case of the UK, where England’s local councils have taken on significant risk via structural financial products known as “LOBO loans” (lender option borrower option). Financial blogger Rob Carver explains how they work:

“[Let’s] say I offer to lend you £40 and charge you 3% interest for 5 years. Some other guy comes along and offers you the same deal; but the twist is he will have the option to ask for his money back whenever he likes.

“You wouldn’t borrow money from him because it’s clearly a worse deal. …

“Suppose he sticks to his guns but as a concession he will lend you the money at only 2.9% interest. Would you take that? What about 2.5%? 2%?”

What Carver is describing here is the so-called “teaser”: a seductively low starting interest rate that is sufficiently attractive to induce the buyer to take on the LOBO in the first place. It’s designed to entice someone away from fixed interest rate borrowing (which at least has the virtue of being constant and therefore more readily predictable). The seductive quality of the teaser is that one’s borrowing costs might appear “cheaper” than the higher initial fixed-rate costs offered by the Public Works Loan Board (PWLB), a wing of the government. But the troubles become more apparent with the passage of time.

What happens if and when rates unexpectedly move up? In general, as Carver notes, having to suddenly repay your loan when interest rates have risen to 4 percent is the worst possible time for you. It’s akin to taking away the umbrella the minute it starts to pour. Worse, the authority is likely locked into a contract that typically has a lifespan of 40-70 years. (And who can forecast with any degree of certainty the trend of interest rates over that sort of time span? It makes the whole notion of buying an instrument on that premise to be speculative in the extreme.) Banks have the option of raising rates at their discretion, and although the councils are able to opt out of their contract, they will pay huge penalties if they seek to renegotiate or exercise that option to opt out.

So there’s a huge negotiating imbalance built into the contract, and the likely upshot is that the local council ends up paying more in interest charges over the course of the loan. How much more? According to an activist group, #NoLOBOs (created to help housing authorities combat the impact of these instruments), “a substantial number of housing councils are facing 7-9 % interest rates, which is more than twice the current rate of lending at the PWLB.” And in many instances, the municipalities have been burdened with these higher borrowing costs at a time when additional funding from the national government has been cut back, so they are confronted with a double whammy on both sides of the balance sheet.

What was initially sold as a means to manage risk, then, ultimately metamorphoses into a recipe for financial fragility, especially when it occurs at the municipal level with institutions that don’t have the capacity to create new currency (as a federal authority can do). The “teaser” becomes a poison pill. This means a local authority (or level of government that is a user, rather than issuer, of currency) can go bust.

To give some sense of the magnitude of the market, the Independent notes:

“There is around £18bn worth of private sector loans on councils’ books, according to figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government. … [A]round £15bn of these are Lobos.

“Annual sales to local authorities regularly topped £1bn in the run-up to the financial crisis and peaked at £1.5bn in 2007, before crashing to £600m a year later and then dwindling to nothing in 2012.”

Their revival since 2012 has resulted in hundreds of millions of pounds being skimmed from struggling town hall budgets, which were hit by the double whammy of these toxic instruments, along with austerity-imposed cutbacks from the national government. One particularly egregious example was the cash-strapped town of Newham, which had £398m of exposure to LOBOs back in 2014. Faced as well with cutbacks from the national Tory government, the local council was forced to remove financial support from a homeless hostel, “leading to the eviction of a group of single mothers to save £41,000,” reported British publication Private Eye.

Needless to say, banks and brokers have profited handsomely from the whole exercise, pocketing hundreds of millions of pounds in profits.

Here’s another disaster waiting to happen: Globally, financial markets today are seeing a rebirth of “collateralized loan obligations” (CLOs), instruments broadly similar to the “collateralized debt obligations” (CDOs), which helped to blow up the financial system in 2008. CDOs were asset-backed instruments, a “blended” security comprised of risky mortgage-backed bonds and much of the rest from theoretically safer tranches. The theory underlying them was that the lower the investment quality, the higher the compensating yield, but in reality most turned out to be toxic junk. What distinguishes CLOs from their CDO “cousin” is that instead of repackaging mortgages, subprime and otherwise, CLOs repackage corporate loans, and consumer credit, such as car loans.

Unfortunately, in yet another instance of lessons unlearned from 2008, the collateralized loan obligations, like the CDOs, have virtually non-existent investor protection, “with over 70 percent lacking any covenants that would allow monitoring of financial condition and early intervention to manage problem borrowers. This exacerbates the risk of higher losses,” argues Satyajit Das, a former banker who first identified the risks to financial stability posed by these kinds of instruments back in 2008. In fact, Das elaborates, “relative to mortgages, [CLOs] typically are made up of fewer and larger loans, which increases concentration risk. Leveraged loans are highly sensitive to economic conditions and defaults may be correlated, with many loans experiencing problems simultaneously.” Which intuitively makes total sense: during a slowdown, virtually all economic activity slows down, whether that be housing, car sales, or consumer borrowing. Diversification of risk is therefore more apparent than real.

In an environment of prevailing low interest rates (and, hence, lower yields from conventional instruments), debt investors have been told (again) that they can enhance their portfolio returns, through these higher-yielding CLOs, while mitigating risk simply by diversifying. In theory, the risk is dispersed, but in practice, as Das has pointed out, if you’re simply diversifying different kinds of financial excrement, the end result is more likely to be insolvency for the whole instrument. A common theme is that in spite of the disastrous performance of these instruments during the market crash, many of the underlying loans today still lack standard provisions to protect lenders, such as reporting and requirements to maintain certain income and asset levels. Consequently, more toxic junk is being passed around the system like a hot potato. Last one holding the potato loses.

Given the scale of issuance, all major financial institutions are likely to be left holding these bags. CLOs, notes Das, have been growing at a rate of around $100bn a year for the past decade, and total levels outstanding now approach the size that existed in the CDO market by the time of the 2008 crisis. As the cycle has matured, the quality of the assets of the loans has diminished, and the borrowers have become increasingly leveraged.

This follows a classic pattern of a typical borrowing cycle, as credit structures move from relatively stable “hedge financing” (where the underlying units can meet payment commitments out of income flow) to “Ponzi” finance (borrowing simply to pay interest on the interest), a process originally outlined by the economist Hyman Minsky. Based on the relatively benign conditions of the recent past, both borrowers and lenders are lulled into a false sense of security and increase their respective risk profiles accordingly. Minsky was by no means the only economist whose work has become associated with manias, panic and crash. He built his analysis on the shoulders of analysts of the Great Depression, such as Irving Fisher, John Maynard Keynes, and John Kenneth Galbraith. But what distinguishes Minsky’s scholarship is that he focused it on the “upward” source of the financial instability, as opposed to its disastrous denouement. In relation to today’s CLO market, the parallel is that the decade-long period of stability in the aftermath of 2008 (in reality, faux stability achieved through the injection of trillions of dollars in public sector bailouts) has again given the users a stream of data providing the illusion that leverage is safe.

Rather than respond to each financial meltdown by seeking to curb the activities that led to the crisis in the first place, the sheer ongoing dominance of our financial sector has ensured that policy has merely worked to bail out the big players, and do everything to keep the rigged casino of the economy in their favor. Thus, financial institutions continue to concoct increasingly esoteric and opaque financial instruments that they market to less financially sophisticated counterparties.

Let’s roll back the tape to a few financial crises ago, from the early 1990s. At that time, Bob Citron, the Orange County treasurer, bankrupted his county via leveraged investments he made in structured notes (i.e., customized notes designed to fit the investment wishes and opinions of particular institutional buyers). If you tailor an exotic instrument to fit your investment outlook, you’d better know what you’re doing and appreciate the downside risks. Customization entails a level of financial expertise that Citron later conceded he did not fully possess. He was a sitting duck in a sea of sharks (to mix metaphors). Citron made a bet on the direction of interest rates (he bet they would stay low, which was wrong). As a result of his miscalculation, by 1994 Orange County’s investment portfolio began hemorrhaging hundreds of millions of dollars, ultimately going broke. Without conceding any liability, ultimately Merrill Lynch paid out $400m in penalties to settle the case.

That was an early warning signal, which unfortunately remained unheeded, as it was followed in quick succession by the Asian financial crisis in 1997, the bankruptcy of Long-Term Capital Management and the concomitant Russian debt default in 1998, the dot.com bust, and finally the complete seizure of the global financial system by 2008. Each time, a common foolhardy notion was the idea that higher levels of reward could be achieved without any corresponding increase in risk. All of this occurred against a backdrop of deregulation, minimal transparency and inadequate market supervision.

If you thought the near-breakdown of the global economy in 2008 was enough to make global policymakers and regulators rethink their persistent accommodation of financial innovation and deregulation, think again. Regulators have continued to accommodate this complexity, rather than minimizing it. Complex financial systems beget yet more complex (and ultimately ineffective) regulation. It is better to simplify the system in order to improve the quality of the regulation and the ease of oversight (which the complexity is designed to avoid).

Unfortunately, that’s not what our policymakers have done. Instead of redesigning the system, the monetary authorities have simply inserted themselves in the chain of intermediation that included an ever-evolving variety of books of business without actually considering whether there were too many weak links in the credit chain in the first place. Rather than shorten or redesign the economy’s credit structures, and curb the risks accordingly, central banks instead have simply acted as the ultimate guarantors in a supply chain from money-like instruments to longer-term and riskier credit. Absent any kind of sanction for undertaking more systemically dangerous activities, our policymakers have therefore made the same mistakes that were made in the early 2000s: they are establishing perverse ongoing incentives that increase risk, punishing the timid (prudent?) with low returns. It’s a classic illustration of Gresham’s Law, whereby bad money drives out good.

So here we go again. No less a figure than Claudio Borio, the chief economist of the Bank for International Settlements central, who warned of the dangers of a synchronized housing bubble well before the 2008 crisis, is again sounding the alarm about a recurrence. The crash gave us a chance to downsize finance and restrict its ability to wreak comparable havoc on the economy going forward. Instead, we let the crisis go to waste, which almost certainly means a nasty sequel to 2008 facing us in the near future.

This article was produced by Economy for All, a project of the Independent Media Institute.


          Biden Speaks To Chants Of 'Run, Joe, Run' As 2020 Decision Nears      Cache   Translate Page      
Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to the International Association of Fire Fighters in Washington on Tuesday, amid growing expectations he'll soon announce he's running for president in 2020.

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks to the International Association of Fire Fighters in Washington on Tuesday, amid growing expectations he'll soon announce he's running for president in 2020.; Credit: Andrew Harnik/AP

Scott Detrow | NPR

Looking out over a crowd of firefighters chanting, "Run, Joe, run," former Vice President Joe Biden urged patience.

"Save it a little longer; I may need it in a few weeks," he said, adding, "Be careful what you wish for."

Biden isn't officially running for president — at least not yet — but Tuesday's speech to the International Association of Fire Fighter's annual conference blocks from Capitol Hill served as the latest warmup act to a potential 2020 campaign.

While Biden spent most of his speech talking to the firefighters about core union issues such as the importance of collective bargaining and the funding of health care and pensions, the former vice president did sprinkle his speech with several messages that could serve as the core of a presidential stump speech.

"Today we seem to be at each other's throats. Extremism is on the rise in this country," Biden said. "Mean pettiness has overtaken our politics."

The globe-trotting politician — who held a post on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for years before heading to the White House — spoke about the importance of America's role as a world leader, warning that other countries would fill that role instead if the country continues to shrink away from global alliances.

Biden also blasted the Trump administration's recent budget proposal. "It cuts $845 billion — almost a trillion-dollar cut in Medicare," Biden said. "Why? Because of a tax cut for the super wealthy ... and now they've got to go make somebody pay for it."

"They gave millionaires and billionaires excessive tax breaks. And who are they asking to pay for it? Middle-class families like you."

In a clear contrast to President Trump's divisive approach to politics, Biden framed his argument as one meant to reach out to every American.

"We can't be defined — we're not able to be defined — by race, by religion, by tribe. We're defined by those enduring principles that are in the Constitution," Biden said. "That in America, everybody gets a shot. That's what the next president of the United States needs to understand, and that's what I don't think this current president understands at all."

But as Biden workshops a message of inclusivity, the fact remains that if he enters the race, the former vice president will be a 76-year-old white man running in the most diverse field of candidates in presidential history.

Democratic hopefuls such as California Sen. Kamala Harris, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and others have made a point to highlight racial injustices in policing and economic policies, and have made sure they regularly speak to and about minority communities. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders veered from his usual stump speech during his first wave of campaign rallies, in order to speak about racism and the civil rights protests he attended in the 1960s. Biden's speech on Tuesday was delivered to an overwhelmingly male and white audience, and he did not specifically address racial inequality.

If he does run, Biden will need to navigate the Democratic Party's increased emphasis on identity politics, as well as the politics of an increasingly energized progressive base that isn't particularly interested in the kinds of bipartisan legislative compromises he spent his career crafting.

Biden briefly took on his party's leftward drift Tuesday, bemoaning the fact that "if you've noticed, I get criticized for saying anything nice about a Republican. Folks, that's not who we are."

At the moment, Biden remains on top of early Democratic polls.

The key question: whether Biden's showing in these early polls is a sign of strength, or just the byproduct of name recognition. Jumping into the presidential campaign is the only way for Biden to answer that question.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

This content is from Southern California Public Radio. View the original story at SCPR.org.


          White House requests $5B cut to NIH budget for fiscal 2020      Cache   Translate Page      
President Donald Trump's $4.7 trillion budget request for fiscal 2020 calls for cutting the NIH's budget by about $5 billion  -More

          Comment on support the wall? by morganB      Cache   Translate Page      
The Trump beat goes on. His minions are quick to defend his position by saying Trump is for "border security" when he continually focuses on the wall and not technology. He just turned over his budget to the congress that has a projection of $4 Trillion. The contingency is that the economy will grow. If it does not Medicare will be plundered.
          CEO Says Wells Fargo Has Transformed After Scandals; Lawmakers Are Skeptical       Cache   Translate Page      

Wells Fargo has undergone a radical transformation since it was mired in scandals that resulted in billions of dollars in penalties and fines, the bank's CEO, Tim Sloan, told lawmakers Tuesday.

But House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., did not appear to believe him. She called Wells Fargo "a recidivist financial institution."

"Wells Fargo's ongoing lawlessness and failure to right the ship suggests the bank — with approximately $1.9 trillion in assets and serving one in three U.S. households is simply too big to manage," Waters said.

Sloan faced hours of aggressive questioning from both Republicans and Democrats. They cast doubt on his claim that the bank had reformed since being caught opening fraudulent accounts and overcharging for mortgage and auto loans. They also pressed Sloan to account for a recent report that unethical practices persist with the bank's debt collection and mortgage origination.

In his opening remarks, Sloan said his company has done away with high-pressure product sales targets that encouraged workers to open unauthorized accounts. The bank has also shaken up its board of directors and improved wages and benefits for its workers, Sloan said. He thanked lawmakers for letting him discuss "the progress we are making as we work to become the most customer-focused, efficient and innovative Wells Fargo ever."

Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., asked the executive how many federal consent orders exist against the company: 14.

"Each time a new scandal breaks, Wells Fargo promises to get to the bottom of it," McHenry said. "It promises to make sure it doesn't happen again. But then a few months later, we hear about another case of dishonest sales practices or gross mismanagement."

It's been nearly three years since the unauthorized accounts scandal broke, when NPR and other outlets reported bankers had created deposit and credit card accounts for customers without their knowledge. Sloan said Tuesday that an audit revealed as many as 3.5 million unauthorized accounts had been opened.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ordered Wells Fargo to pay $185 million in penalties and fines in 2016 for creating those unwanted accounts.

Sloan said the bank has made amends. He said it had made contact with some 40 million customers and had paid tens of millions of dollars in restitution.

California Democrat Brad Sherman had a specific question for Sloan regarding that process:

"Are you going to use your clever arbitration provisions, applicable to an account they never signed up for, in order to keep them out of court, if that's what they decide they want?" Sherman asked.

"Congressman, our remediation for customers who were impacted by retail sales practices is extensive and comprehensive," Sloan answered.

"And you refuse to let people go to court," Sherman countered.

In another case, last year, the CFPB imposed a $1 billion fine against Wells Fargo for overcharging customers for mortgages and auto loans.

In August 2018, Wells Fargo agreed to pay a $2 billion civil penalty to settle allegations the bank originated and sold mortgage loans that included false information in the years leading up to the financial crisis.

As Sloan spoke, screens mounted on the committee walls projected excerpts from an article published Saturday in The New York Times; it revealed that debt collectors working for Wells Fargo in Des Moines, Iowa, were tasked with making 33 calls an hour and recouping some $40,000 in unpaid debts over the course of a month. Workers told reporters the goals were unattainable, similar to the ambitious sales targets that had driven Wells Fargo workers to open unauthorized accounts in the past.

"The sales incentives have changed, not disappeared," the Times wrote, citing current and former employees.

Asked about the report, Sloan said it was "inaccurate."

Sloan spoke as his bank remains under an unusual Federal Reserve measure imposed last year to restrict its growth. The Fed said at the time that the company will be barred from expanding beyond its asset size in 2017, "until the firm makes sufficient improvements."

The broad, bipartisan censure may provide a clue about future hearings by the House Financial Services Committee planned for other bank CEOs. Waters, who took control of the committee after Democrats won the House in the 2018 midterms, has pledged to more closely examine large banks. Sloan is expected to return to the committee to testify in April, as are heads of JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, according to The Wall Street Journal. Waters' office did not confirm the report.

On Tuesday, Sloan claimed Wells Fargo customers and workers were responding well to changes in the bank.

"Our customer experience and loyalty survey results are now at their highest levels in the past 2 1/2 years," he said.

Stephen Beck, founder of the CG42 management consulting firm that advises banks among other industries, said a study conducted by his company belies that claim. The firm surveyed U.S. banking customers in late 2018. Beck said Wells Fargo customers were the most likely to abandon their bank.

"Their vulnerability is profound," Beck said of Wells Fargo customers. "One of the many critical frustrations ... is the dishonest, unethical and illegal practices they've engaged in."

Still, Beck doubted the House hearing would lead to more drastic penalties on Wells Fargo, like breaking up the bank.

"You could say it was a rough day for Mr. Sloan," Beck said. "But when you think about the wide range of issues they've had over the course of the last few years, and when you think about the relatively modest penalties they've received and the relatively modest changes they've made in light of those challenges. ... At the end of the day, these are just words."

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

          Here are the high-flying financiers charged in the college-admissions cheating scandal      Cache   Translate Page      

Stanford Universityturtix/Shutterstock

  • The Department of Justice on Tuesday charged 50 people with participating in a scheme to get students into colleges by cheating on entrance exams or bribing athletic coaches.
  • The parents charged include Hollywood stars, as well as executives at prominent companies, venture-capital firms, and law offices.

The Department of Justice on Tuesday unsealed documents charging dozens of people with participating in a nationwide college-admissions scam.

Among those parents indicted by the FBI are high-flying executives, wealthy real-estate developers, and Hollywood stars. A slew of financiers was also named in the case, including former Pimco CEO Douglas Hodge, Hercules Capital CEO Manuel A. Henriquez, and William McGlashan, a TPG managing partner.

Read more: Hollywood actresses and business leaders are accused of paying to get their kids into elite colleges by cheating on exams and faking athletic skills. Here's how investigators say the scheme worked

High-ranking schools such as Georgetown University, Stanford University, Yale University, University of Texas at Austin, University of Southern California, Wake Forest University, and University of California, Los Angeles, also appeared in the indictment, court documents show. Federal prosecutors said the systematic scheme of bribery lasted more than eight years, from 2011 to 2019. 

There were a number of finance executives charged. Business Insider has reached out to all of them for comment and will update this story if we hear back. 

Robert Flaxman, cofounder of Crown Realty and Development

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for LAAA

Robert Flaxman cofounded the Costa Mesa, California-headquartered real-estate-development company Crown Realty and Development in 1994. The firm has been an active local developer in California, investing in a number of notable local projects, such as the retail center Venice Crossroads and a hotel, restaurant, office complex across from Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

Crown Realty and Development has a more than 2.3 million-square-foot portfolio that includes retail, hospitality, and industrial projects that spread across California, Arizona, Virginia, Idaho, and Northern California. 

He is accused of participating in "both the college recruitment scheme and college entrance exam scheme." According to court records, he fabricated information on his son's application to the University of San Diego.

He was charged with "conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud."



Manuel A. Henriquez, founder and chairman of Hercules Capital

LinkedIn

Manuel Henriquez is the cofounder, chairman, and CEO at Hercules Technology Growth Capital, a Palo Alto, California-based venture-debt provider. The company was an early investor in Facebook.

According to his LinkedIn profile, he has worked in venture capital for over 30 years. Prior to Hercules, he was a partner at private equity fund, VantagePoint Venture Partners. He was also the founder of ON Technology, a software company backed by investors like Kleiner Perkins, Apple Computer, and more.

He and his wife, Elizabeth Henriquez, allegedly "participated in the college entrance exam cheating scheme, on four separate occasions, for their two daughters."

They also "conspired to bribe Gordon Ernst, the head tennis coach at Georgetown University, to designate their older daughter as a tennis recruit in order to facilitate her admission to Georgetown."

He was charged with "conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud," along with his wife, according to court documents.

 



Douglas Hodge, former CEO of Pimco

PIMCO

Douglas Hodge is the former CEO of asset manager Pimco. Hodge took the reins of the notable bond manager after Bill Gross, the onetime "Bond King," exited the firm in 2014. In December 2017, Hodge announced that he would retire from the firm.

During his 28 years with Pimco, Hodge grew the company's assets under management from $15 billion to $1.69 trillion. Afterwards, he joined Sway Ventures as a venture partner to help grow the firm's early-stage portfolio companies.

According to the court documents unsealed on March 12, Hodge "agreed to use bribery to facilitate the admission of two of his children to USC as purported athletic recruits, and sought to enlist CW-1 to secure the admission of a third child to college through bribery as well."

He was charged with "conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

Pimco declined to comment on the matter. 




See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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          Should House Impeach Trump If He Launches Unconstitutional Wars?      Cache   Translate Page      

by Andrew Kreig


Posted: 09 Jan 2017 02:26 AM PST


U.S. House members should pledge to impeach the incoming President Trump if he starts any new wars in office without first comply with the U.S. Constitution’s requirement of a congressional declaration of war, according a non-partisan civic group that announced its plan last week.

Charles W. "Chas" Freeman
Committee for the Republic leaders identified Virginia, Ohio and Iowa as the first three states where organizers plan to rally public opinion behind a pledge by their representatives to impeach if the Executive Branch launches new "wars," which would be narrowly defined to include covert advisors and major arms supply creating new conflicts defined as war.

“Thirteen years ago,” said former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Charles “Chas” Freeman, Jr. as he announced the grassroots campaign in Washington, DC on Jan. 5, “George W. Bush invaded Iraq without a congressional declaration of war.”
“Our nation is now mired in nine ongoing presidential wars,” continued Freeman, the chairman and a co-founder of the committee in 2003. “They have cost nearly ten trillion dollars; starved our infrastructure; crippled our liberties; and multiplied and united our enemies.”
Donald Trump button open mouth
“They have also enabled,” said Freeman (shown in a file photo), “the growth of apparently limitless presidential power to play prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner to kill any American the President decrees is an imminent national security danger based on secret, unsubstantiated evidence.

Speakers at the campaign launch at the Metropolitan Club, located a little more than a block from the White House, stressed that their initiative was not an attempt to thwart Trump (shown on a campaign button) but was intended instead to stop a long-term erosion of Constitutional checks-and-balances on Executive Branch power. 
Freeman, whose three decades of defense and diplomacy posts included high-level positions under both Republicans and Democrats, was the first of committee board members voicing strong support. Most provided compelling personal biographical reasons about why they had reached such a momentous decision as to push for a pledge.
The other speakers included constitutional law expert, attorney and former Reagan administration FCC counsel Bruce Fein; Washington, DC Tea Party Founder Tom Whitmore; and lawyer and former Reagan Administration Defense Department Assistant Secretary for Manpower Delbert Spurlock; and investment adviser John Henry.
U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) also spoke passionately about a need for constituents to hold House members and for limits on Executive Power, including to declare war. But Massie said he would have to study the impeachment pledge for agreeing to it.U.S. House members should pledge to impeach the incoming President Trump if he starts any new wars without following the U.S. Constitution’s requirement of seeking a congressional declaration of war, according a non-partisan civic group that announced its plan last week.
Since 2003, the Committee for the Republic has held 130 conferences (termed "salons") said the group, whose board of directors is shown below.
Committee for the Republic Board
“The time for talk alone has expired,” the committee’s announcement said. “Unconstitutional wars continue to feed dysfunction in government and to corrode liberty in the United States. They turn children into orphans, wives into widows, husbands into widowers, and families into refugees, while provoking terrorist blowback.
The Committee's Board of Directors believes that patriotism demands making the Constitution in general and the warfare state in particular the battleground of national politics. It proposes to devote the Committee's January 5 salon to elaborating a proposal to do this and to encourage past and future participants in Committee activities to attend this salon and to contribute as best you can to realizing the resulting proposal.
It is past time to restore a decent respect for the Constitution and the opinions of humankind to the conduct of US foreign relations.

          Here's how Apple could use the Apple Watch to break into a whole new market for itself with healthcare (AAPL)      Cache   Translate Page      

Tim Cook Apple Watch

  • Apple could have a big opportunity in the health care market, longtime analyst Gene Munster said in a research note.
  • The company could soon offer a service that would allow physicians to access the health data from patients' Apple Watches for a monthly fee, he said.
  • Physicians would pay the fee, because they're increasingly having to bear the financial risk of treating patients, he said.
  • The data could help them sooner detect potential problems in patients and also help them encourage healthier lifestyles.

Apple's wearable devices could soon serve as its gateway into the massive American healthcare market.

The iPhone maker could soon set up a subscription service targeted at physicians and medical groups that would allow them to access the health data collected by Apple Watches and other devices worn by their patients, Gene Munster, a longtime Apple analyst, wrote in a research note Tuesday.

The service, for which Apple might charge doctors $10 per patient per month, would allow them to monitor their patients' health and potentially encourage healthier choices and lifestyles, he said.

"For physicians or any payer who covers healthcare expenses, there's a market for this now," said Munster, a managing partner with investment firm Loup Ventures. "Apple’s healthcare services opportunity," he continued, "likely lies in harvesting the data from [Apple] Watch and AirPods, then filtering, analyzing, and making it actionable."

Apple CEO Tim Cook is clearly interested in healthcare

Apple hasn't announced any plans to develop such a service. But CEO Tim Cook has been clear about his interest in healthcare in general and in developing new health-related features for Apple's wearable devices. Apple Watch has a pulse monitor built into it, monitors the wearer's activities, and can be set to remind them when to stand or breathe. The latest version of the software underlying the device includes a feature that allows the device to take electrocardiogram readings.

apple watch series 4 ecg"You will see continued things in the watch area that keep pulling the string between wellness and health," Cook said at the company's annual shareholder meeting earlier this month.

Read this: Apple is now one of the biggest investors in research and development, and critics are wondering what it's getting for its money

But the company's interest in health goes beyond Apple Watch. Apple was granted a patent in December for a version of its AirPods headsets that could include a biometric sensor that could be used to detect a wearer's pulse rate or blood oxygen level, Munster noted. Meanwhile, the company announced a deal last month with the US Veterans Administration that will allow military veterans to view their health records from the VA and other institutions in the Health app on the iPhone.

"Everything is right there," Cook said at the shareholder meeting.

Apple will likely build on such initiatives to try to create a real business around healthcare, Munster said in his note. A part of the motivation is there's a gigantic opportunity there, he said. 

Physicians have an incentive to sign up for an Apple health service

The US in total spent about $3.5 trillion on health care in 2017, amounting to about 18% of its gross domestic, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Consumer tech companies such as Apple have had little presence in that market so far, but that could change soon, Munster said.

apple airpodsThe industry has been shifting away from traditional fee-for-service reimbursement practices toward paying doctors and medical groups per use monthly fees to care for patients, he noted. Those fees shift the risk from insurers to physicians, giving them a financial incentive to promote healthier lifestyles and choices among their patients. Unlike insurers, doctors are also in direct contact with patients, making it easier for them to influence patents' behavior, Munster said. Those two factors could make them amenable to health-related service from tech providers such as Apple, he said.

"As financial incentives shift to providers, physicians will be more willing to pay for consumer tech that influences behavior and provides early warning systems," Munster said.

Apple is in a prime position to take advantage of this market because of the popularity of Apple Watch and its AirPods, he said. There are about 57 million Apple Watches currently in use, he estimated. That number could easily be four times larger than that eventually, he said.

For investors, the most important thing about Apple's health care opportunity is that Wall Street isn't yet accounting for it, Munster said.

"We believe the healthcare opportunity is not currently priced into [Apple's] shares," he said.

Got tip about Apple or other tech companies? Contact this reporter via email at twolverton@businessinsider.com, message him on Twitter @troywolv, or send him a secure message through Signal at 415.515.5594. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

SEE ALSO: Tim Cook says conservative Apple employees who feel shunned should 'come talk to me'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: We tried Louis Vuitton's wireless earbuds to find out if they're worth the $995


          Budget cuts: Trump fiscal plan is a right-wing wish list      Cache   Translate Page      

WASHINGTON—If proposed federal budgets are political documents—and they are then-President Donald Trump’s budget for fiscal 2020, which starts Oct. 1 and ends just before next year’s election, is a right-wing wish list, with a trillion dollars of red ink, tailored to appeal to his base. From $8.6 billion more for his racist Mexican Wall, to […]
          Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt      Cache   Translate Page      

We've got a double winner on the insightful side this week, with That One Guy taking the top spot. In first place, it's a long comment arguing that we weren't hard enough on MEP Axel Voss:

'Why Does MEP Axel Voss Keep Lying About Article 13?'

Is that a rhetorical question? Because the answer is blindly obvious from where I'm sitting, and applies to him and all the others like him to keep making blatantly false arguments and claims: Because it's impossible to defend it honestly, and he(and others like him) is so contemptuous of the public that he has no problem lying straight to people's faces if it means getting what he wants.

This is an astounding level of ignorance on so many levels

No.

The time for 'maybe he doesn't understand what he's talking about' benefit of the doubt is well past. At best he's grossly incompetent in not doing the slightest bit of research into a bill he's heavily supported, but far more likely is that he's not being 'ignorant' when he makes blatantly incorrect statements, he's being dishonest, and deserves to be called out as the liar he is every single time he does it.

Instead, he has to play this charade, where he makes these ridiculous and easily debunked statements to support an unconscionable law that will lead to massive internet censorship and change the very fundamental nature of the internet itself.

And again, no.

He does not 'have to' lie to people's faces and make dishonest arguments, he chooses to. No one is forcing him to lie and engage in dishonest tactics, so I see no reason to soften the language describing such acts in any way. He does not 'have to' lie, he deliberately chooses to lie.

In second place, it's some extended thoughts on our post about Elizabeth Warren's big tech breakup plan:

Need to work on those priorities

Meanwhile, if Warren were truly concerned about "monopolies" and a lack of competition, why isn't her plan looking at the lack of competition in the broadband and mobile markets -- cases where we have legitimate competition problems due to bad regulatory policies going back decades?

I was thinking this very thing the entire article. She wants to bust up monopolies that are harmful to the public? Then maybe put Google, Amazon and Facebook on the backburner and start with companies where in large numbers of cases people aren't signed up with them because they're popular, but because it's either them or nothing.

If someone really doesn't want to use Facebook the fact that it's popular doesn't mean they have to, as there are plenty of alternatives, but if the only choice of actual broadband in your area comes from one company whether you like them or not doesn't matter, it's either them or no internet, which is dramatically more severe than simply 'no using this platform for social media'.

She wants to crack down on monopolies that are harmful to the public? Great, there are much better targets to start with, and I'd love for someone to point that out to her, if only to see her reaction and whether or not she'd be willing to go on the record as supporting the idea of going after Comcast and company for their respective monopoly positions.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with a comment from Qwertygiy, pushing back against the assertion that if copyright expired on the death of the creator, it would incentivize the murder of creators:

If an estate is passed down to heirs at the death of the owner, there would be an incentive for heirs to kill the owner of a valuable estate.

If a political office is put up for election upon the death of the holder, there would be an incentive to kill the holders of a valuable political office.

If funeral homes are paid upon the death of a person, there would be an incentive for funeral homes to kill random people.

Oh... wait... all of that is already true, and we have laws that are very effective deterrents against any of that from happening.

Next, it's That Anonymous Coward arguing that, given the assault on fair use and public domain by copyright maximalists, a good first step in response would be to roll back copyright terms:

If fair use is such a burden, let us roll back the expansive handouts of extensions we've given them. It is supposed to benefit us but I am really hard pressed to see how the public is getting any benefits.

Laws killing memes
Laws killing content they don't control
Laws killing technological advancement

Fair use is so very mean to them... if we just did away with it then that damn dancing babies family would have coughed up the $150K the law says we deserve! That video cost us trillions of dollars in losses!!

Lets take back the extensions they wanted, because they have tormented those of us who agreed to grant them exclusive rights for a limited time in exchange for fair use & the public domain, they've been trying to kill fair use and they had killed the public domain for a very long time. Let us go back to a simpler time where 'limited time' didn't mean 4 human life spans.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is Boba Fat, who responded to Steven Spielberg's opposition to Oscars for Netflix movies, and specifically to another commenter noting that "we've always done it this way" is a bad justification for anything:

Nonsense! We've always used that as our justification! We shouldn't change it now.

In second place, we've got Toom1275 with another response to Spielberg:

Someone should call Jurassic Park and let them know they're missing their dinosaur.

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out with a comment from Mike Read, who was struck by one of our headlines about Europe:

Clash Of EU's Poorly Thought Out Laws

Is this a new mobile game?

And last but not least, we've got a comment from David about the shame of the NSA:

Things the NSA should not be proud of

The Clipper chip and the Clapper chap.

That's all for this week, folks!



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          Trump 2020 budget plan includes funding boost for military and border wall, cuts elsewhere      Cache   Translate Page      
The Department of Defense cant account for untold TRILLIONS of dollars yet he wants to boost funding for the military
Submitted by Walter Bradley Jr to US Politics & Gov't  |   Note-it!  |   Add a Comment

          How the World’s Leading Banks Help Launder $2 Trillion a Year      Cache   Translate Page      
none
          DOD and HUD $21 Trillion Missing Money: Report & Supporting Documentation      Cache   Translate Page      
No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law; and a regular statement and account of receipts and expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time. ~ Article I, Section 9, Clause 7, U.S
Submitted by Walter Bradley Jr to US Politics & Gov't  |   Note-it!  |   Add a Comment

          Dems shape talks with long list of climate demands      Cache   Translate Page      
As infrastructure talks progress on Capitol Hill, Democrats are calling for any legislative package to address climate change. That would have been unthinkable last year, when Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress. Indeed, when President Trump initially proposed his $1 trillion infrastructure plan last year, it sparked little discussion about global warming. And the plan ultimately failed to materialize due to disagreement over funding options.
          Trump’s $4.7T plan slashes energy, environment programs      Cache   Translate Page      
The White House yesterday outlined a $4.7 trillion fiscal 2020 budget that would take an ax to many domestic programs, including at EPA and the Energy and Interior departments, to boost national security spending. The budget pushes a 5 percent cut in nondefense discretionary spending accounts to $543 billion. Defense spending would spike 5 percent to $750 billion.
          Trump proposes cuts to public housing as federal official sleeps over in NYCHA for a fourth week      Cache   Translate Page      
NEW YORK — President Trump’s 4.7 trillion dollar budget proposal announced Monday sent shockwaves through families in NYCHA and city leaders. The proposed budget, if approved, would cut billions to public housing and a plan for increasing tenant rent contribution for those who are able to work. In the meantime, it’s the last week of federal housing official Lynne Patton’s stay in NYC public housing. Patton is staying in Fenimore-Lefferts apartments in Brooklyn. Patton had to first field questions about […]
          RSA 2019: Cybercriminals’ Overlooked Tactics and Favorite Industries to Target       Cache   Translate Page      
RSA 2019: Cybercriminals’ Overlooked Tactics and Favorite Industries to Target Bob.Keaveney_u64t Fri, 03/08/2019 - 14:32

These are difficult times for organizations trying to protect themselves and their customers from cybercriminals. Global cybercrime costs will hit $6 trillion a year by 2021 — up from $3 trillion in 2015, according to the “2019 Official Annual Cybercrime Report” by Cybersecurity Ventures. Verizon’s “2018 Data Breach Investigations Report” says that 30 percent of phishing emails in the U.S. are opened by recipients. And 780,000 records were lost in 2017 as a result of cybercrime, according to the McAfee “Economic Impact of Cybercrime” report, released in February 2018.

With the multiplying number of tools available to hackers on the dark web, it’s little wonder that more of their attacks are succeeding, said Angel Grant, director of identity, fraud and risk intelligence with IT security technology firm RSA. But Grant, speaking at the RSA Conference 2019 in San Francisco on March 8, said the dark web is “not the thing people should be concerned about,” at least not compared with what she called the “gray web,” where cybercriminals are “acting in plain sight.”

While cybercriminals are often imagined as tech geniuses working feverishly in dark rooms on sophisticated hacks, the truth is that many use simple scams and social engineering to gain entry to corporate networks and personal information. Take reverse phishing, for example. This is where cybercriminals search for companies that haven’t tagged their company phone number yet on Google. When consumers Google the company’s name, they then see the phone number the cybercriminal supplied and call it. Then the fraudster can ask personal questions that allow them to steal personal information.

MORE FROM BIZTECH: For more content from RSA check out our event landing page.

Cybercriminals' Favorite Industries to Target

“We’re seeing the value of credentials for sale vary based on industry or on the type of stolen information — a card with a signature is worth more than a card without,” said Grant.

Grant cited some of the top industries cybercriminals are targeting:

Retail: “Cybercriminals target e-commerce more these days because the new chip cards put down a barrier and make it harder to steal in traditional retail,” said Grant.

Entertainment and social media: Video streaming companies, social media and gaming platforms, and even dating sites are popular targets for hackers because people volunteer an extraordinary amount of personal information about themselves on such platforms, Grant explained.

Finance: It’s obvious why hackers target the financial industry, Grant said: “It’s where the money is.”

Travel/Leisure: Loyalty programs for airlines and hotels are most often tied to credit cards and passport information that cybercriminals can exploit.

MORE FROM BIZTECH: Learn how to quantify the impact of a data breach.

What is ‘Credential Stuffing’ and How Do Hackers Use It?

One favorite tactic of hackers is “credential stuffing,” in which criminals use user names and passwords they obtained from previous breaches to run automated programs to log in with those same credentials on other sites. It’s effective because people typically use the same login information from site to site. “We see a 5 percent success rate on credential-stuffing tools,” said Grant.

One of RSA’s customers, for example, started to see a spike in traffic on its login page. The site had been logged into by the same IP address more than 200,000 times, and a criminal was able to access 18,000 valid credentials using this tactic.

“When you hear in the news about another organization getting hacked, your company is not off scot-free,” warned Grant. “Chances are, those credentials are being sold on Facebook and could be used to target your organization.”

Cybersecurity-report_EasyTarget.jpg

What Companies Can Do to Foil Hackers

“We need to take a moment to think of what we can do to better protect ourselves from these types of attacks,” said Grant. “We need to think about the fact that as we are embracing digital transformation, and it has provided a lot of opportunities, it has also brought a lot more risk.”

Grant recommended some steps to better secure your organization. First, monitor social media to see if your company is being targeted. Next, investigate potential points of vulnerabilities within your organization and determine who is watching those and communicating any issues. Also, create a plan to mitigate an account takeover and roll out identity analytics.

“Finally, unite your security village and collaborate not only within your company, but also with third-party vendors you engage with,” advised Grant. Make sure to roll out threat detection and fraud prevention tools and have a governance, risk and compliance strategy.


          Com trilhões de cortes na rede de segurança, Bernie Sanders diz que Orçamento Trump é "tirar o fôlego em seu grau de crueldade" - "Se um orçamento é uma declaração de valores e prioridades , a proposta do presidente Donald Trump para o ano fiscal 2020 mostra claramente seu compromisso em enriquecer os ricos às custas dos americanos comuns." - Editor - A RECÍPROCA É VERDADEIRA POR ESTAS BANDAS DE CÁ.      Cache   Translate Page      
publicado em
por

Com trilhões de cortes na rede de segurança, Bernie Sanders diz que Orçamento Trump é "tirar o fôlego em seu grau de crueldade"

"Este é um orçamento para o complexo industrial militar, para CEOs corporativos, para Wall Street e para a classe bilionária".
Cópias do volume 1 do novo orçamento do Presidente Donald Trump para o ano fiscal de 2020 que foi entregue à Comissão de Orçamento da Câmara, em 11 de março de 2019, em Washington, DC (Foto: Mark Wilson / Getty Images)Cópias do volume 1 do novo orçamento do Presidente Donald Trump para o ano fiscal de 2020 que foi entregue à Comissão de Orçamento da Câmara, em 11 de março de 2019, em Washington, DC (Foto: Mark Wilson / Getty Images)
Se um orçamento é uma declaração de valores e prioridades , a proposta do presidente Donald Trump para o ano fiscal 2020 mostra claramente seu compromisso em enriquecer os ricos às custas dos americanos comuns.
"Não se engane: o orçamento de Trump é uma enorme transferência de riqueza das famílias da classe trabalhadora para as pessoas mais ricas e as corporações mais lucrativas da América." 
—Sen. Bernie Sanders
Foi assim que o senador Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Descreveu o pedido de orçamento de US $ 4,7 trilhões da Trump na segunda-feira depois que a Casa Branca divulgou detalhes do plano , que inclui um aumento maciço nos gastos militares e trilhões de dólares em cortes totais para o Medicare, Medicaid. e Segurança Social.
"O orçamento de Trump é de tirar o fôlego em seu grau de crueldade e cheio de promessas não cumpridas", disse Sanders, membro do Comitê de Orçamento do Senado, em um comunicado . "Donald Trump prometeu ao povo americano que ele seria um tipo diferente de republicano, que ele seria um defensor do trabalho americano e que ele não cortaria a Previdência Social, o Medicare e o Medicaid. Mas seu orçamento faz exatamente o oposto do que ele prometeu ao povo americano ".
Na próxima década, o orçamento de Trump - intitulado oficialmente "Um orçamento para uma melhor América" ​​- reduziria o Medicaid em US $ 1,5 trilhão, o Medicare em US $ 845 bilhões e a Previdência em US $ 25 bilhões, segundo o escritório de Sanders. O projeto do presidente também pede US $ 8,6 bilhões em fundos de fronteira.
"Este é um orçamento para o complexo industrial militar, para CEOs corporativos, para Wall Street e para a classe bilionária", disse Sanders. "Está morto na chegada."

Este é um orçamento para o complexo militar-industrial, para CEOs corporativos, para Wall Street e para a classe bilionária.

Nós não precisamos de bilhões de dólares para uma parede que ninguém quer. Precisamos de um orçamento que funcione para todos os americanos, não apenas para Trump e seus amigos bilionários.

Dando ao Pentágono " ainda mais do que esperava " , o orçamento de Trump prevê um aumento de US $ 861 bilhões nos gastos militares básicos nos próximos dez anos.
Essa quantia, segundo Sanders, "poderia tornar as faculdades e universidades públicas gratuitas durante a próxima década".
Warren Gunnels, diretor da equipe de Sanders, twittou : "Não precisamos de uma varinha mágica ou de um gênio para tornar as faculdades públicas livres. Precisamos acertar nossas prioridades".
.

Nos próximos 10 anos, o orçamento de Trump reduziria:
- US $ 1,5 trilhão do Medicaid
- US $ 845 bilhões do Medicare
- US $ 25B do Seguro Social
- US $ 207B do ensino superior
- US $ 220B dos cupons de alimentação

Enquanto os gastos de defesa aumentariam em US $ 861 bilhões https: // www. sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/press -releases / sanders-statement-on-trumps-2020-orçamento 

A January 4, 2017 tweet from Sen. Bernie Sanders about the incoming Donald Trump administration resurfaced on Monday. Sanders reminded Trump voters he promised not to cut their Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

And voilà:
The Trump administration’s annual budget proposal on Monday envisioned a series of cuts that contrasted with the president’s own words of support for both programs and people — including some groups that make up his political base. To help make way for more military and border spending, it would slash programs large and small, from Medicaid and Medicare — which President Trump as a candidate promised to protect — to safety nets for farmers.
Trump's proposal cuts $845 billion in “waste, fraud and abuse” from Medicare for older Americans, cuts the sitting president deems necessary to offset the climbing deficits generated by two years of his tax cut for wealthier ones. Sanders responded with a series of tweets condemning "Trump’s budget cuts $1.5 trillion from Medicaid, $845 billion from Medicare and $25 billion from Social Security."

With Democrats now in control of the House, Trump's proposal is going nowhere. (Not that his budgets were less dead on arrival when the GOP held the majority.)

Naturally, the proposal includes another $8.6 billion for the president’s border wall/fence/barrier.

Slate's Jim Newell wonders if the White House is not in on the joke. Presidents' budget proposals are typical “statements of priorities” rather than direct guidance to Congress. Trump's cuts to safety net programs to pay for increases in defense spending could be setting up the next government shutdown:
The White House’s only priority, though, is boosting military spending—and it would be more than pleased to see non-defense spending fall off of a cliff. In its new budget, defense spending would increase from $716 billion to $750 billion next year, while non-defense spending would fall from $620 billion to $567 billion. The cuts would come from food stamps, health care, the Environmental Protection Agency, and education, to name just a few.
The Senate’s 60-vote threshold has meant, even with Mitch McConnell as the Republicans' majority leader, to pass budgets Republicans have had to balance boosts to defense spending against Democrats' demand for safety net program increases. With Nancy Pelosi as speaker, Newell suggests, Republicans will have to engage again in bipartisan wrangling of the sort that sets Trump's dentures on edge.

"If Trump proclaims that he won’t sign such a deal," Newell concludes, "he’ll have cornered himself, and the country will again careen toward a government shutdown. In other words, it sounds exactly like the move that would appeal to him most."

Trump loves sowing chaos to keep allies and opponents off balance. In question is whether he has the bandwidth to put energy behind it in the middle of a whirlwind of ongoing special counsel and House investigations into his campaign and his family business, plus just-announced investigations by the New York attorney general's office into Trump Organization projects. Trump could be close to reacting like the Enterprise computer when asked to compute "to the last digit the value of pi."

In the meantime, Democrats sick of years of Republican hectoring about Hillary Clinton's email may have the chance to fire back with But his Medicare cuts.


          Liabilities exceeded 3 trillion high leverage plus housing prices risk — real estate — peop-519697      Cache   Translate Page      
Liabilities exceeded 3 trillion   high leverage plus housing prices risk — real estate — people.com.cn original title: debt over 3 trillion large enterprises with high leverage risk 29 evening, with Poly Real Estate released half year results announcement, Dr. Paul million gold four typical enterprises semi annual report disclosure of all. All information data […]
          After He's Out Of The White House, Will Trump Plead Ignorance About The Illegality Of Taking Foreign Bribes?      Cache   Translate Page      



I admit I watch a lot of Maddow and pretty much embrace all the Russian conspiracy stuff she's constantly peddling. But I never needed her to tell me that Trump's is the swampiest presidency since Warren G. Harding's. Maybe Ulysses S. Grant's? Except in Trump's case, it's clearly the man at the top who's the most corrupt of all. And one thing that I never doubted for a second is that Trump takes bribes-- from any and all sources... including from abroad, a major no-no. He's been taking money from Russia, Ukraine, various pieces of the former Soviet Union, Saudi Arabia, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, China... anywhere he could get them from. Friday, The Guardian published a piece by Jon Swaine, Trump inauguration took money from shell companies tied to foreigners, that lays out some of the evidence regarding just the Inauguration aspect.



Short version of Swaine's exhaustive report: Shell companies were created to mask foreign bribes that poured into the pockets of Trump and his corrupt family. "The Guardian," he wrote, "has identified the creators of three obscure firms that contributed money to Trump’s inaugural committee, which collected a record $107 million as he entered the White House in 2017. There was a lot more foreign money than the 3 instances Swaine dug into.
The three companies each gave $25,000 to Trump’s inaugural fund. At least one of the contributions was made for a foreign national who appears ineligible to make political donations in the U.S.

A spokesman for Thomas Barrack, the chairman of Trump’s inauguration committee, declined to comment. The contributors denied wrongdoing.

Federal prosecutors in New York and the attorney generals of New Jersey and Washington DC have in recent weeks issued subpoenas to the committee, demanding records and information on its contributors and spending.

U.S. election law prohibits non-resident foreigners from contributing to political campaigns, including inaugurations. Donors or campaigns who “knowingly and willfully” breach this rule may be fined or prosecuted.

One of the $25,000 donations to Trump’s inauguration was made through a Delaware shell company for a wealthy Indian financier based in London, who appears to not hold US citizenship or residency.

Another was made by a company formed in Georgia by a lobbyist with connections to the Taiwanese government. His wife said the firm was funded by Chinese investors. One of their daughters was later given an internship in Trump’s White House, which they said was unrelated to the donation.

A third $25,000 contribution was made through a company formed anonymously in New York by an Israeli real estate developer who has helped other foreign developers with legal issues in the U.S. The Israeli developer said he held U.S. residency, commonly known as a “green card,” which permitted him to contribute legally.

Ann Ravel, a former commissioner at the federal election commission (FEC), said the use of anonymous companies was the biggest problem for authorities trying to ensure transparency and legality in political donations.

“We need stronger regulation,” said Ravel. “But our campaign finance system is structured to not let us find out who is behind these contributions.”

Authorities including Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 US election, are looking into issues around foreign money in American politics and possible attempts to buy influence with Trump’s administration.


A Washington-based lobbyist, Sam Patten, admitted last year that he illegally funnelled $50,000 to Trump’s inauguration from a Ukrainian oligarch. Patten, a former colleague of the convicted ex-Trump aide Paul Manafort, pleaded guilty to lying to Congress and failing to register as a foreign agent.

One $25,000 contribution to Trump’s inaugural fund came from a shell company tied to Cyrus Vandrevala, a Mumbai-born financier based in London. Vandrevala has said he funds property developments in India, where Trump owns luxury towers.

Vandrevala’s father-in-law, Niranjan Hiranandani, is one of the wealthiest figures in Indian real estate. He currently serves as president of an influential real estate industry lobby group in the country.

In an interview published days after Trump’s inauguration, Hiranandani said he hoped the new president would not hinder India’s real estate industry by restricting US visas. He suggested it was unlikely Trump would “want to do something that can have a negative impact on his ongoing projects in India.”

Vandrevala, 46, has an Indian passport and declares his nationality as Indian, according to business records obtained from authorities in Delhi. A source familiar with his arrangements said he did not hold U.S. citizenship or a “green card.”

The contribution appears to have paid for two VIP tickets to Trump’s inauguration. He and his wife, Priya, attended the event in Washington and also enjoyed a “private breakfast” with Trump, according to an article in the UK’s Asian Lite newspaper, which was written by a veteran Indian reporter who knows the Vandrevalas.

Another British-Asian newspaper, Eastern Eye, reported Vandrevala was “friendly with Trump’s daughter Ivanka.” Editors did not respond to questions about the source of that information. The White House did not respond to an inquiry.

The link between the contribution and Vandrevala is hidden in the public record. FEC filings list a $25,000 donation from a limited liability company (LLC) calling itself Sierra Vista. Its stated address is a suburban office park in Wayne, Pennsylvania.



Vandrevala’s U.S. investment company, Intrepid Capital Partners, has an office at the same complex in Wayne. Separately, an LLC named Sierra Vista 1 has also cited the office park as its address in business records.

Sierra Vista 1 was formed in Delaware, a state renowned for its low-tax and high-secrecy regime, in which companies are not required to disclose the names of officers, directors or owners.

The only person named in paperwork filed to Delaware when Sierra Vista 1 was set up in 2014 was John Teaford, a businessman who has worked on several Vandrevala ventures since the 1990s.

An executive at Intrepid Capital Partners, who requested anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media, said Sierra Vista 1 was an investment vehicle funded with Vandrevala’s money.

Vandrevala did not respond to emails and messages left at his office in London. Reached by telephone and asked whether he handled Sierra Vista’s payment to the inauguration for Vandrevala, Teaford said: “I probably did.”

Intrepid Capital Partners has a property arm, ICP Real Estate, which was created to finance developments in India. It claimed to be amassing a $7bn investment fund for building homes and has targeted the cities of Mumbai and Pune, both of which are home to Trump-branded towers.

Donald Trump Jr, the president’s eldest son, has described India as “the biggest push for our organisation.” The Trump company lists four Indian developments in its portfolio. A visit to the country last year by Trump Jr incurred almost $98,000 in publicly funded security costs.

Two months before election day in 2016, a new shell company was registered in Georgia. The company, Jan Castle LLC, was formed by a man named David Sean, who paid the $100 fee and signed the simple one-page form required by the state.

Sean listed his office address as a numbered “suite” on a street that runs past a country club in Sandy Springs, one of the country’s wealthiest suburbs.

The state’s paperwork said explicitly that a physical address was required-- a mailbox was not acceptable. But Sean’s address was, in fact, a mailbox inside a shipping store on a strip mall. Sean, a Taiwanese-American businessman, is based more than 2,000 miles away in southern California and is also known as Pong Hsiang.

Shortly before Christmas in 2016, Jan Castle LLC contributed $25,000 to Trump’s inauguration fund.

Sean, 59, said he was a US citizen. He declined to discuss the activity of Jan Castle or the status of any other people involved in the company, and the Guardian was unable to locate records on either.

But Sean’s wife, Joann, said in a brief telephone interview in late January that Sean created Jan Castle for three Chinese investors. Sean later denied his wife had said this. The company’s original filing to Georgia identified someone named Jianning He as its “organizer,” but gave only the same mailbox address as contact information.

Sean rejected requests over several weeks to discuss the contribution to Trump’s inauguration. Eventually he agreed to a meeting in person, but then changed his mind. Finally, in a series of text messages, Sean said: “I refuse to collude with Chinese communists and insist [on] investment with no condition attached.”

He went on to say: “My company objective is to take back stolen trillion dollar from communist China and put into manufacturing sector in United States. And I will work hard to achieve this mission objective til the day I am perished from the earth.”

Sean, who describes himself as an enthusiastic Trump supporter, also provided copies of complaint letters he said he had sent to the FBI, the CIA, the FEC and the IRS, requesting that each agency investigate the author of this article.

One of Sean’s daughters carried out a White House internship last year. She posted photographs to social media, including one of her class of interns posing with Trump. Sean said the internship had no link to the contribution.

During the 1990s, Sean worked in Taiwan as a consultant for the Hsinchu Science Park, according to his résumé. The park was developed by the Taiwanese ministry of science and technology from the 1980s as its answer to Silicon Valley.

Later, according to the résumé, Sean became a “US federal government relations consultant.” Records filed to Congress say that from 2012-14, he registered as a lobbyist in Washington, representing his own financial advisory firm.

In some lobbying filings, Sean registered jointly with an associate named Johnny Lu, who was said to be an “international trade consultant.”

Lu, who is also known as Lu Zhongying, is an adviser to Taiwan’s overseas community affairs council, according to a Taiwanese government spokeswoman in California. Lu did not respond to messages left with his family. A cellphone registered in his name did not accept incoming calls.


The Swamp Revisited by Nancy Ohanian

The pair told an ethics watchdog they were lobbying on issues such as international trade and foreign investment in the US. They reported lobbying the White House, Congress, and government agencies including the bureau of export administration and the federal trade commission. They did not list any foreign clients.

Records obtained from state authorities across the US show Sean has used at least 10 mailboxes around California, Florida, Georgia, Nevada and Wyoming to open many other companies over the past two decades. The purpose of some of the companies was unclear. One named Johnny Lu as president.

In 2015, Sean created a company named Global Prosperity Foundation Corp from the mailbox near Atlanta. He told regulators it would “facilitate communication with US major trading partner’s trading organizations and promote the investment advantages of United States” [sic]. It was closed shortly before the donation to Trump’s inaugural fund was made.

Another $25,000 came into Trump’s inaugural fund three days before the president’s swearing-in from a company named New York State Property Management Corporation. The company gave as its address a house in the Long Island town of Hewlett, close to John F Kennedy airport.

A company with that name is registered with New York authorities at a small office building elsewhere in the region. The Guardian traced the firm back to Elon Lebouvich, an Israeli businessman in his mid-40s, who is involved in New York real estate.

According to court records, Lebouvich has also gone by other names, including “Allen Lebo”, and has served as a representative for a family of wealthy Moroccan investors in US legal disputes. A member of the family declined to discuss their relationship.

Lebouvich is currently developing a $5m retail property in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, according to sources familiar with his work. According to city records, the building is owned by an LLC controlled by the 74-year-old mother of Lebouvich’s attorney. The attorney and his mother declined to comment.

In a brief telephone interview, Lebouvich said his $25,000 contribution paid for two tickets to the inauguration for “me and somebody else.” He would not say who used the second ticket. When asked if he was entitled to contribute, he said: “I don’t have the time to talk about it” and ended the call.

In a subsequent email, Lebouvich said he had held permanent US residency for about five years, which would mean he was entitled to contribute. He declined to discuss the contribution and threatened legal action.

The FEC has seemed unwilling to actively guard against foreign contributions in US politics. In 2017, two dissenting commissioners said the FEC had failed to properly investigate a complaint alleging foreigners donated $55,000 through LLCs to a campaign group supporting a congressman.

The commission is understaffed. All four current commissioners have served well beyond their six-year term limits. For the past year, the FEC has operated with four commissioners instead of six because Trump has not filled two vacant seats.

Ellen Weintraub, the FEC chairwoman and the only sitting Democratic commissioner, has frequently criticised her colleagues for what she views as an unwillingness to adequately regulate campaign finance, including the threat of foreign money.

In a letter to Congress sent last September, Weintraub said the FEC was “naively and dangerously” ignoring the reality of foreign interference and had no plan to counter it.

“This situation will not improve until this commission has at least four members who are willing to enforce existing law barring foreign-national political involvement and address dark money,” Weintraub wrote.


           Comment on New research detects increase in Bennu’s rotation by Phill O       Cache   Translate Page      
The big question is the defining the propagation of error in the measurements! This is a measurement of 3 parts per trillion. If taken over a 5 year period, the measurement system must be able to detect a difference of near 1 part per 20 trillion.
          Government procurement, refused to special (policy interpretation and focus) – Politics – people.com dachiyouxiang      Cache   Translate Page      
Government procurement, refused to "special" (policy focus?) published – Politics – people.com.cn days before the Ministry of finance data show that in 2015 the national government procurement scale exceeded 2 trillion yuan, an increase of 21.8%, accounting for the proportion of fiscal expenditure reached 12%. Expanding the scale of government procurement, the money spent on […]
          American religious annual revenue of 1 trillion and 200 billion over Google apple and Amazon diying      Cache   Translate Page      
The United States and the religious annual revenues of 1 trillion and 200 billion super Google Apple Amazon stock market center: exclusive national industry sector stocks, premarket after hours, ETF, real-time quotes Sina warrants stocks Beijing time 16 days a research report shows that the American religion can create annual revenue of $1 trillion and […]
          1月M2货币供应同比增长14% 新疆艺术学院成绩查询      Cache   Translate Page      
China’s January M2, new RMB loans and social finance scale exceeded expectations – Sohu financial China January M2, new RMB loans and social finance scale exceeded expectations. In January, M2 money supply grew by 14%, expected 13.5%, the previous value of 13.3%. In January, RMB loans increased by 2 trillion and 510 billion yuan, expected […]
          Report Details Chemical Industry’s Contribution To Global Economy      Cache   Translate Page      
Chemical industry contributes $5.7 trillion to global GDP and supports 120 Million jobs.
          Our Government Has Gone Rogue      Cache   Translate Page      
As The $16 Trillion In Bonds Now Comes Home To Roost
          Trump's 'MAGAnomics' gets a thumbs-down from Democrats      Cache   Translate Page      
President Donald Trump proposed a record $4.7 trillion budget, pushing the federal deficit past $1 trillion but counting on optimistic growth, accounting shuffles and steep domestic cuts to…
          Billionaires in NYC have fewer billions      Cache   Translate Page      

New York is known as one of the world's most expensive cities. Last week the Forbes billionaires list showed the wealthiest of the wealthy don't live here.

While Kylie Jenner hogged headlines for being the world's youngest "self-made" billionaire (a debatable title among Twitter users), Crain's web desk picked out the list's New Yorkers. Only Michael Bloomberg, who announced last week that he will not run for president in 2020, cracked the top 10. With a net worth of $55.5 billion, he is the ninth richest man on the planet.

Other New Yorkers in the top 100 are David Koch (No. 11), Rupert Murdoch (52), Len Blavatnik (59), Carl Icahn (61), Leonard Lauder (82), Alain and Gerard Wertheimer (82) and Stephen Schwarzman (100).

Amazon's Jeff Bezos, who could have been a New York City power player, is the richest man in the world for a second year in a row.

Globally, the magazine reported, 46% of the fortunate few have less than in 2017, and the list's total worth decreased $400 billion—to $8.7 trillion. "Even the wealthiest are not immune to economic forces and weak stock markets," the editors wrote.

One of the world's richest chefs, Mario Batali, surrendered his ownership stake in his restaurant group, which includes Eataly, a chain of Italian markets with two locations in Manhattan.

After reports that four women accused him of inappropriate touching, Batali in December 2017 stepped down from daily operations at the brands he created with partners about 20 years ago. Tanya Bastianich Manuali will head day-to-day operations for the company that will replace the Batali & Bastianich Hospitality Group. 


          Here's how Apple could use the Apple Watch to break into a whole new market for itself with healthcare (AAPL)      Cache   Translate Page      

Tim Cook Apple Watch

  • Apple could have a big opportunity in the health care market, longtime analyst Gene Munster said in a research note.
  • The company could soon offer a service that would allow physicians to access the health data from patients' Apple Watches for a monthly fee, he said.
  • Physicians would pay the fee, because they're increasingly having to bear the financial risk of treating patients, he said.
  • The data could help them sooner detect potential problems in patients and also help them encourage healthier lifestyles.

Apple's wearable devices could soon serve as its gateway into the massive American healthcare market.

The iPhone maker could soon set up a subscription service targeted at physicians and medical groups that would allow them to access the health data collected by Apple Watches and other devices worn by their patients, Gene Munster, a longtime Apple analyst, wrote in a research note Tuesday.

The service, for which Apple might charge doctors $10 per patient per month, would allow them to monitor their patients' health and potentially encourage healthier choices and lifestyles, he said.

"For physicians or any payer who covers healthcare expenses, there's a market for this now," said Munster, a managing partner with investment firm Loup Ventures. "Apple’s healthcare services opportunity," he continued, "likely lies in harvesting the data from [Apple] Watch and AirPods, then filtering, analyzing, and making it actionable."

Apple CEO Tim Cook is clearly interested in healthcare

Apple hasn't announced any plans to develop such a service. But CEO Tim Cook has been clear about his interest in healthcare in general and in developing new health-related features for Apple's wearable devices. Apple Watch has a pulse monitor built into it, monitors the wearer's activities, and can be set to remind them when to stand or breathe. The latest version of the software underlying the device includes a feature that allows the device to take electrocardiogram readings.

apple watch series 4 ecg"You will see continued things in the watch area that keep pulling the string between wellness and health," Cook said at the company's annual shareholder meeting earlier this month.

Read this: Apple is now one of the biggest investors in research and development, and critics are wondering what it's getting for its money

But the company's interest in health goes beyond Apple Watch. Apple was granted a patent in December for a version of its AirPods headsets that could include a biometric sensor that could be used to detect a wearer's pulse rate or blood oxygen level, Munster noted. Meanwhile, the company announced a deal last month with the US Veterans Administration that will allow military veterans to view their health records from the VA and other institutions in the Health app on the iPhone.

"Everything is right there," Cook said at the shareholder meeting.

Apple will likely build on such initiatives to try to create a real business around healthcare, Munster said in his note. A part of the motivation is there's a gigantic opportunity there, he said. 

Physicians have an incentive to sign up for an Apple health service

The US in total spent about $3.5 trillion on health care in 2017, amounting to about 18% of its gross domestic, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Consumer tech companies such as Apple have had little presence in that market so far, but that could change soon, Munster said.

apple airpodsThe industry has been shifting away from traditional fee-for-service reimbursement practices toward paying doctors and medical groups per use monthly fees to care for patients, he noted. Those fees shift the risk from insurers to physicians, giving them a financial incentive to promote healthier lifestyles and choices among their patients. Unlike insurers, doctors are also in direct contact with patients, making it easier for them to influence patents' behavior, Munster said. Those two factors could make them amenable to health-related service from tech providers such as Apple, he said.

"As financial incentives shift to providers, physicians will be more willing to pay for consumer tech that influences behavior and provides early warning systems," Munster said.

Apple is in a prime position to take advantage of this market because of the popularity of Apple Watch and its AirPods, he said. There are about 57 million Apple Watches currently in use, he estimated. That number could easily be four times larger than that eventually, he said.

For investors, the most important thing about Apple's health care opportunity is that Wall Street isn't yet accounting for it, Munster said.

"We believe the healthcare opportunity is not currently priced into [Apple's] shares," he said.

Got tip about Apple or other tech companies? Contact this reporter via email at twolverton@businessinsider.com, message him on Twitter @troywolv, or send him a secure message through Signal at 415.515.5594. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

SEE ALSO: Tim Cook says conservative Apple employees who feel shunned should 'come talk to me'

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why Apple's dongle problem isn't getting any better


          Here are the high-flying financiers charged in the college-admissions cheating scandal      Cache   Translate Page      

Stanford University

  • The Department of Justice on Tuesday charged 50 people with participating in a scheme to get students into colleges by cheating on entrance exams or bribing athletic coaches.
  • The parents charged include Hollywood stars, as well as executives at prominent companies, venture-capital firms, and law offices.

The Department of Justice on Tuesday unsealed documents charging dozens of people with participating in a nationwide college-admissions scam.

Among those parents indicted by the FBI are high-flying executives, wealthy real-estate developers, and Hollywood stars. A slew of financiers was also named in the case, including former Pimco CEO Douglas Hodge, Hercules Capital CEO Manuel A. Henriquez, and William McGlashan, a TPG managing partner.

Read more: Hollywood actresses and business leaders are accused of paying to get their kids into elite colleges by cheating on exams and faking athletic skills. Here's how investigators say the scheme worked

High-ranking schools such as Georgetown University, Stanford University, Yale University, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Southern California, Wake Forest University, and the University of California, Los Angeles, also appeared in the indictment, court documents show. Federal prosecutors said the systematic scheme of bribery lasted more than eight years, from 2011 to 2019. 

There were a number of finance executives charged. Business Insider has reached out to all of them for comment and will update this story if we hear back. 

Robert Flaxman, cofounder of Crown Realty and Development

Robert Flaxman cofounded the Costa Mesa, California-headquartered real-estate-development company Crown Realty and Development in 1994. The firm has been an active local developer in California, investing in a number of notable local projects, such as the retail center Venice Crossroads and a hotel, restaurant, office complex across from Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

Crown Realty and Development has a more than 2.3 million-square-foot portfolio that includes retail, hospitality, and industrial projects that spread across California, Arizona, Virginia, Idaho, and Northern California. 

He is accused of participating in "both the college recruitment scheme and college entrance exam scheme." In the court records, he is also accused of fabricating information on his son's application to the University of San Diego.

He was charged with "conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud."



Manuel A. Henriquez, founder and chairman of Hercules Capital

Manuel A. Henriquez is the cofounder, chairman, and CEO of Hercules Technology Growth Capital, a Palo Alto, California-based venture-debt provider. The company was an early investor in Facebook.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Henriquez has worked in venture capital for more than 30 years. Before Hercules, he was a partner at the private-equity fund VantagePoint Venture Partners. He was also the founder of ON Technology, a software company that was backed by investors such as Kleiner Perkins, Apple Computer, and more.

He and his wife, Elizabeth Henriquez, are accused of participating "in the college entrance exam cheating scheme, on four separate occasions, for their two daughters."

They are also accused of conspiring "to bribe Gordon Ernst, the head tennis coach at Georgetown University, to designate their older daughter as a tennis recruit in order to facilitate her admission to Georgetown," according to court documents.

The couple are charged with "conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud," according to court documents.



Douglas Hodge, former CEO of Pimco

Douglas Hodge is the former CEO of the asset manager Pimco. Hodge took the reins of the notable bond manager after Bill Gross, the onetime "Bond King," exited the firm in 2014. In December 2017, Hodge announced that he would retire from the firm.

During his 28 years with Pimco, Hodge grew the assets the company managed from $15 billion to $1.69 trillion. Afterward, he joined Sway Ventures as a venture partner to help grow the firm's early-stage portfolio companies.

According to court documents unsealed on March 12, Hodge "agreed to use bribery to facilitate the admission of two of his children to USC as purported athletic recruits, and sought to enlist CW-1 to secure the admission of a third child to college through bribery as well."

He was charged with "conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud.

Pimco declined to comment on the matter. 



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

          Brexit: Why did the pound rise? Further euro growth is possible under a number of conditions      Cache   Translate Page      

The euro and the pound continued to strengthen against the US dollar, despite the good fundamental data on the American economy, which were published yesterday in the afternoon.

The dollar is under pressure from a weak report on the labor market, which was published last Friday, while the pound has its support from the expectations of reaching an agreement on Brexit.

The pound rose yesterday by more than 2% after news that British Prime Minister Theresa May and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed on changes in the Brexit agreement. May will present these changes at a vote in the British parliament in the evening.

Many expect this to get approval from British lawmakers. Theresa May said that she is counting on the support of key members of parliament.

After yesterday's meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, although it had previously been announced that there would be no more meetings, May said that if the British parliament did not approve the agreement on Tuesday, there would be no other changes.

As noted above, yesterday's data on the US economy did not support the US dollar.

According to the report, inventories of US companies rose in December. According to the US Department of Commerce, inventories in December increased by 0.6% compared with the previous month and amounted to 1.995 trillion US dollars. Economists had expected stocks in December to grow by 0.6% compared with the previous month. The increase was mainly due to stocks in the wholesale and retail trade, where the increase was about 1.0%.

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An index showing US employment trends rose in February. This indicates a further recovery in the labor market, despite the weak Friday report. According to the Conference Board, the employment trends index in February 2019 was 111.15 points against 109.34 points in January of this year.

However, the company said that, despite the increase in the indicator, there has been no uptrend in recent months, indicating a likely slowdown in employment growth in 2019. Despite this, the labor shortage continues to grow amid high demand, which is a good sign for job seekers.

As for the technical picture of the EURUSD pair, further euro growth will be possible only after going beyond the resistance of 1.1265, which will lead to a reversal of the downward trend and the renewal of major resistance in the 1.1290 and 1.1320 area. If there is no demand for risky assets above 1.1265 resistance and the price returns below this level closer to the afternoon, the pressure on the euro may increase, which will lead to a decrease in the trading instrument in the support area of 1.1220 and 1.1175.

The Australian dollar continued its weak recovery against the US dollar, however, data that housing loans financing in Australia was still low in January had a negative impact on the rate.

According to the report, the number of approved housing loans in January fell by 2.6% compared with December. Economists had expected the number of approved loans to remain unchanged.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company - www.instaforex.com
          Morgan Stanley says Chinese stocks are showing no signs of overheating that could result in repeat of 2015 sell-off      Cache   Translate Page      
Chinese stocks’ world-beating rally has still some way to go and a repeat of the 2015 meltdown that wiped out US$5 trillion in market capitalisation is highly unlikely, according to Morgan Stanley research released on Wednesday.Analysts at the US investment bank, led by Laura Wang, based the argument on a newly introduced aggregate gauge of nine metrics for the Chinese market, including trading values, new account openings and the number of stocks hitting daily limits.Measured on a 0-100 scale,…
          A budget for a collapsing America      Cache   Translate Page      


Trump’s budget more than doubles the war-fighting slush fund and proposes cutting social safety net by 9% at a time when White House rhetoric against Iran is heating up and Netanyahu, Mohammed bin Salman, and Trump all face corruption charges and challenges at home.

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson interviewed by Paul Jay.

The ugly numbers: 

  • Trump's budget calls for $750 billion in military spending for FY2020, a nearly 5% increase, which exceeds even what the Pentagon requested
  • Trump’s budget calls for cutting $845 billion from Medicare (health care for the elderly)
  • Trump’s budget calls for cutting $1.5 trillion from Medicaid (health care for the poor)
  • Trump’s budget calls for cutting $25 billion from the Social Security retirement program
  • Trump’s budget calls for cutting $1.7 billion from child nutrition and eliminate food assistance for millions
  • Trump's budget calls for cutting $1 billion from the National Science Foundation (The NSF provides about one-quarter of all federal research grants and covers fields such as engineering, mathematics, computer science and social sciences. It also funds the purchase of large-scale scientific equipment.)
  •  And many more social & environmental programs would be cut and destroyed by the Trump budget
It's not just Trump's budget,
it was Obama's budget,
it was Bush's budget,
it was Clinton's budget,
it was Bush's budget,
it was Reagan's budget,
it was Carter's budget.

It is the budget of corporations and politicians who continue to exploit the working class.


    Now is the time for the American people to rattle their chains and demand that Congress CUT THE BLOATED AND WASTEFUL PENTAGON BUDGET!

    FORGET THE ATTACKS ON SOCIAL PROGRAMS!  
              Hubble & Gaia Reveal Weight of the Milky Way: 1.5 Trillion Solar Masses      Cache   Translate Page      

    Hubble & Gaia Accurately Weigh the Milky Way

    In a striking example of multi-mission astronomy, measurements from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and the ESA Gaia mission have been combined to improve the...

    The post Hubble & Gaia Reveal Weight of the Milky Way: 1.5 Trillion Solar Masses appeared first on SciTechDaily.


              CEO Says Wells Fargo Has Transformed After Scandals; Lawmakers Are Skeptical      Cache   Translate Page      
    Wells Fargo has undergone a radical transformation since it was mired in scandals that resulted in billions of dollars in penalties and fines, the bank's CEO, Tim Sloan, told lawmakers Tuesday. But House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., did not appear to believe him. She called Wells Fargo "a recidivist financial institution." "Wells Fargo's ongoing lawlessness and failure to right the ship suggests the bank — with approximately $1.9 trillion in assets and serving one in three U.S. households is simply too big to manage," Waters said. Sloan faced hours of aggressive questioning from both Republicans and Democrats. They cast doubt on his claim that the bank had reformed since being caught opening fraudulent accounts and overcharging for mortgage and auto loans . They also pressed Sloan to account for a recent report that unethical practices persist with the bank's debt collection and mortgage origination. In his opening remarks , Sloan said his company
              The Hypothalamus, Menopause, Weight Gain and Acupuncture      Cache   Translate Page      
    How important a health problem is excessive weight gain in America? It is so important that First Lady Michelle Obama has made it her number one goal to end childhood obesity in one generation. One third of all American children and adolescents are obese. One third of all American adults are also obese, weighing 25% more than their ideal weight, while two thirds are overweight. It is clear that excessive weight gain has become America’s new epidemic.
    A behavior similar to taking drugs, smoking tobacco, or drinking alcohol, excessive eating is an addictive behavior that shortens life spans and is difficult to stop by force of will. Obesity increases a person's risk of developing several serious health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, thyroid disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome, and diabetes. Every extra pound over your ideal weight may take time from your life.
    Why do people tend to overeat even if they know all about the harmful effects of being overweight?
    The hypothalamus contains several groups of nerve cells, which have the ability to impact emotions, regulate body temperature, and control thirst, along with the feeling of fullness and salt cravings. Body weight is controlled by the hypothalamus through modifying metabolism. The activities of the hypothalamus are influenced by stress, light, steroids, insulin, pleasant food smells, and invading microorganisms. This explains why we tend to overeat when we are stressed out because the hypothalamus produces more hormones to stimulate the pituitary to produce more cortisol-releasing hormones. The sharp increase in cortisol stimulates the appetite, especially for junk food. Further when daylight time becomes shortened in the winter and when we smell something good, the hypothalamus changes its activity, so our appetite also changes.
    When menopause comes, the imbalance of estrogen, progesterone, GABA, serotonin and dopamine profoundly influences the neuronal activity of the hypothalamus, which can cause women to be more emotional, to crave sweets and salty food, and to have insomnia, hot flushes and night sweats. Many women tell me that they cannot stop eating even though they know they are not supposed to eat too much of a certain kind of food. In this scenario, if they eat the wrong kind of food such as cookies or ice cream, or drink too much coffee, their stomachs will not receive a signal for fullness. They can keep eating until they damage the majority of their nerves and blood vessels. We have trillions of neurons and blood vessels; if we destroy 60% of them, our body can still compensate. Once the majority of the nerves and blood vessels are damaged, it is too late to change. When we consume sugary foods , our reward center lights up, our body releases dopamine and we feel happier for a moment. The problem is that our body's function is not improved by eating junk food. We have to continue eating those rewarding foods to maintain our happiness. If we instead exercise, take herbs or have acupuncture treatments to produce more dopamine, we can reap the benefits but not pay the cost. On the other hand, if we just put a piece of chocolate into our mouth, we will do damage to our nerves and blood vessels. Simple sugar is even worse than alcohol or tobacco because you can eat sugar any time in any amount without getting drunk or being punished. On the other hand you can only drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes at certain times and places. On the positive side, when people eat sugary foods, they become friendlier and more sociable during that moment. Most men eat one piece of chocolate, then stop, while women have to eat ten pieces, because women's estrogen levels fluctuate each month from 10 to 100 while men do not have these big hormone changes unless they are alcoholics or drug addicts. Furthermore, women have a very sensitive rewarding center, and they can have sudden increased levels of dopamine, while men receive a much less extreme response from eating rewarding food.
    How we can control our appetite by optimizing the activity of hypothalamus?
    Q. Wei et al.’s research on obese rats found that tryptophan and serotonin levels were decreased in certain areas of the brains in the obese group as compared to the control. Acupuncture could produce weight reduction by optimizing the serotonin (5-HT) level. Serotonin not only makes people relax and feel good, but also enhances intestinal motility to help discharge toxic materials that could produce food stagnation and internal heat. Internal heat, from a Chinese medical perspective, leads to increased appetite and more craving for food. In Western medicine, if food cannot be properly absorbed and converted into blood sugar to provide energy, it will be stored instead as fat in the body. Then, the person feels hungry all the time and must eat constantly to maintain his or her blood sugar level. It can quickly become a vicious cycle.
    Acupuncture, herbs, meditation, Tai Ji, Qi Gong and other relaxing treatments help redirect energy and blood flow to the hypothalamus, pituitary, ovaries and adrenal gland, so the above glands can produce balanced hormones. On the other hand, acupuncture can reduce stress instantly. By reducing stress, acupuncture improves your entire body function. The balance of all the relaxing and stimulating hormones is the key factor for keeping healthy weight and eating habits. When you have balanced hormones, you do not crave sweets or other junk foods.
              CHINA IS BLOCKING OTHER SOUTHEAST ASIAN COUNTRIES FROM DEVELOPING RESOURCES WORTH $2.5 TRILLION -POMPEO      Cache   Translate Page      
    CHINA IS BLOCKING OTHER SOUTHEAST ASIAN COUNTRIES FROM DEVELOPING RESOURCES WORTH $2.5 TRILLION- POMPEO.
              The David Pakman Show - March 12, 2019      Cache   Translate Page      

    --On the Show:

    --Dr. John Gartner, psychiatrist, founder of Duty to Warn, and co-editor of the book "Rocket Man: Nuclear Madness and the Mind of Donald Trump," joins David to update us on what he sees are the accelerating cognitive decline and mental state of Donald Trump

    --Donald Trump's newest White House budget is the biggest ever at $4.75 trillion, and is an absolute embarrassment on all fronts

    --Fox News host Tucker Carlson is right now to apologize for his recent disgusting comments given his audience's wholesale agreement with the ideas espoused

    --Even more free and half price memberships are available thanks for all star TDPS supporter Joshua

    --Bernie Sanders closes in on Joe Biden in the latest Iowa 2020 Democratic primary poll, now within the margin of error

    --Shirley Phelps-Roper from the Westboro Baptist Church is confronted in person by David Pakman Show Producer Noah Ferguson at a protest in Virginia

    --Donald Trump denies having called Apple CEO Tim Cook "Tim Apple," despite it being on recorded on video

    --The Kansas troll calls in after years of antagonism and takes credit for the success of the David Pakman Show

    --On the Bonus Show: Justin Trudeau scandal, Trump on daylight savings time, Milo Yiannopoulos banned from Australia, much more...

    --Become a Supporter: http://www.davidpakman.com/membership

    --Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/davidpakmanshow

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    --Leave us a message at The David Pakman Show Voicemail Line (219)-2DAVIDP


              Milestones: "Fed’s QE Unwind Reaches $501 Billion, Balance Sheet Falls Below $4 Trillion. 'Autopilot' Engaged "      Cache   Translate Page      
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              3/13/2019: World: Trump’s big budget      Cache   Translate Page      
    US President Donald Trump has proposed a record US$4.7 trillion ($6.9t) budget, pushing the federal deficit past US$1t but counting on optimistic growth, accounting shuffles and steep domestic cuts to bring future spending into balance in 15 years....
              Trump's Budget Saves $2.75 Trillion      Cache   Translate Page      
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              3/13/2019: BUSINESS REVIEW: Silk urges hard line on funds that flop      Cache   Translate Page      

    The nation’s most powerful superannuation boss has urged the $2.7 trillion industry to adopt a zero-tolerance approach to consistently underperforming funds as part of a new era of accountability and higher standards in the wake of the Hayne royal...
              3/13/2019: FINANCIAL SERVICES: Defence, border spending rise as White House proposes $6.6 trillion budget      Cache   Translate Page      

    The White House has released a $US4.7 trillion ($6.6 trillion) budget that proposes sharply reducing spending on safety-net and many discretionary government programs, while boosting defence and border-protection funding, in a plan that also projected...
              Bank of America anima las acciones de Apple pasando a valorar positivamente su compra       Cache   Translate Page      

    Bank of America anima las acciones de Apple pasando a valorar positivamente su compra #source%3Dgooglier%2Ecom#https%3A%2F%2Fgooglier%2Ecom%2Fpage%2F%2F10000

    Si tienes acciones de Apple y hoy has estado atento a la apertura de los mercados, te habrás encontrado una buena sorpresa. El valor de esas acciones ha subido un 3,3% en pocas horas, llegando a los 178 dólares. El responsable no han sido estimaciones de buenas ventas ni declaraciones de Warren Buffet: ha sido un banco.

    Concretamente ha sido Bank of America, quien ha cambiado de opinión respecto a Apple y ha aconsejado públicamente la compra de sus acciones después de un tiempo valorándola como una compañía "neutral" en cuanto a su valor. Además, la entidad estadounidense ha elevado sus estimaciones y cree que en un año las acciones de Apple serán valoradas en 210 dólares.

    Una "oportunidad" para crecer, sólo que no tan rápido

    Acciones Apple

    Bank of America afirma, ya más detalladamente, que deberíamos acostumbrarnos a ver cómo la venta de dispositivos de Apple pasará a estabilizarse en vez de crecer. Lo que crecería serían los ingresos de servicios, además de las ventas de accesorios y wearables. Eso hace que el banco considere invertir en Apple como una "oportunidad".

    Apple sigue estando por debajo de los 200 dólares a los que llegó el año pasado antes de que las ventas de los iPhone rebajaran el valor, aunque ya supera con creces las previsiones más pesimistas que decían que las acciones no iban a pasar de los 161 dólares. Puede que no tengamos ese ascenso meteórico que creíamos, pero los planes de Apple son a largo plazo.

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    El logro del billón está cerca: Apple bate récords con sus acciones a 161,59 dólares

    El sueño de Apple para ser la primera 'trillion dollar company' se aleja, pero no ha desaparecido

    -
    the.news Bank of America anima las acciones de Apple pasando a valorar positivamente su compra originally.published.in por Miguel López .


              DQ Problem Management Portfolio Manager / Senior Analyst, Vice President - Jersey City, NJ 07308      Cache   Translate Page      
    Discover your opportunity with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), the 5th largest financial group in the world with total assets of over $2.4 trillion (as ranked by...
              Des tourbillons de diamants      Cache   Translate Page      
    Le Trillion Tourbillon of Tourbillons, une piece unique signee Antoine Preziuso, met en lumiere la haute horlogerie tout autant que le sertissage.
              ART OF THE DEAL: Trump Calls Washington’s Bluff; Unveils TRILLION DOLLAR Cuts To The DC. Swamp      Cache   Translate Page      

    The post ART OF THE DEAL: Trump Calls Washington’s Bluff; Unveils TRILLION DOLLAR Cuts To The DC. Swamp appeared first on I Love My Freedom.

    President Donald Trump is coming for big government in Washington, D.C., and has unveiled a plan to cut over one trillion dollars from the federal government over the next decade. On Monday, the president released his budget proposal for fiscal year 2020, which calls for domestic spending cuts of 5 percent across the entire federal government. The White House is not only calling for cuts across the board, they are also calling for a major increase in defense spending and an additional $8.6 billion to fund the wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Claim Your Free Trump 2020 Hat – Just

    The post ART OF THE DEAL: Trump Calls Washington’s Bluff; Unveils TRILLION DOLLAR Cuts To The DC. Swamp appeared first on I Love My Freedom.


              Indonesia: Rp1 trillion spent on fighting land fires in 2018      Cache   Translate Page      
    Antara 13 Mar 19; Smoke haze shrouded Ampera Bridge, Palembang, South Sumatra The government spent Rp1 trillion for fighting wildfires on peatlands in South Sumatra province last year, Chief of the National Disaster Mitigation Board (BNPB) Lt. Gen. Doni Monardo said on Tuesday. In view of the high cost, he felt it was necessary to familiarize the public with the effort to preempt wildfires It is better to prevent wildfires by familiarizing people nearby on how to tackle fires before they inflict losses worth hundreds of billions of rupiahs, he added. The Rp1 trillion was spent on...

    this is a summary, for the full version visit the wild news blog
              Europe is so weak it can’t even handle 0% interest rates      Cache   Translate Page      
    Europe’s leading economic policy makers have officially thrown in the towel. Last week, the European Central Bank admitted economic conditions are so dire that it already has to reverse its monetary policy. I’ll get back to that in a minute… Following the Great Financial Crisis in 2008, central banks printed trillions of dollars and pushed interest rates to their lowest levels in human history. Low interest rates (and lots of new money sloshing around the system) mean people should go out and buy things that would otherwise be out of reach… new houses, new cars, businesses, etc. And, in theory, all of that activity creates jobs and helps the economy […]
              Eleven gold week retail and catering consumption reached 1 trillion and 200 billion an increa-66814      Cache   Translate Page      
    Eleven golden week retail and catering consumption amounted to 1 trillion and 200 billion   an increase of 10.7%– finance — people.com.cn original title: Eleven golden week retail and catering consumption reached 1 trillion and 200 billion up by 10.7% this year "eleven" golden week, the national consumer market to maintain steady and rapid growth, […]
              The State Council pushing fitness leisure 3 trillion cake ready (video)-freyja      Cache   Translate Page      
    The State Council pushing fitness leisure 3 trillion "cake" in contrast Liu Jun: domestic marathon to improve the level of competition recently, the general office of the State Council issued the "guiding opinions on accelerating the development of fitness and leisure industry" (hereinafter referred to as the "opinions"), to promote the deployment of fitness leisure […]
              Hunan nonferrous metals industry 13th Five-Year development planning 2020 at Hunan trillion – Channe-www.dytt8.net      Cache   Translate Page      
    Hunan nonferrous metals industry "13th Five-Year" development planning: 2020 at Hunan channel — people.com.cn trillion by 2020, the province’s non-ferrous metal main business income will reach 1 trillion yuan of non-ferrous metals, everywhere in our daily life. From the clothes on the zipper, to do the mobile phone, and then to take the car, plane…… […]
              Countries want to hit the Northeast 1 trillion and 600 billion good economy Officials Department of -haywire      Cache   Translate Page      
    Countries want to hit the Northeast 1 trillion and 600 billion good economy? Officials: Department of misreading the original title: the state wants to hit the Northeast 1 trillion and 600 billion good economy? Official: Department of misreading recently, the national development and Reform Commission issued "to promote the revitalization of the three year rolling […]
              March 12, 2019: the morning read      Cache   Translate Page      
    NY Times: The Massage Parlor Owner and Mar-a-Lago NY Times: What Does Misogyny Look Like? NY Times: Trump Proposes a Record $4.75 Trillion Budget CNN: US to Withdraw Remaining US Diplomatic Personnel from Venezuela, Pompeo says CNN: Nancy Pelosi: ‘I’m … Continue reading
              Biden, Warren and Sanders on Antitrust       Cache   Translate Page      

    In the cover story of the November/December 2017 issue of the Washington Monthly, executive editor Gilad Edelman chronicled how anti-monopoly politics, including revived antitrust enforcement, had “seemed to go from fringe argument to a pillar of the Democrats’ economic plan, at least rhetorically, overnight.” (It turned out that years of earnest Washington Monthly articles on the subject played a role.) But, he cautioned, things like merely including a section on corporate concentration in the Democrats’ “Better Deal” agenda were just “baby steps.” It remained to be seen whether the issue would develop into a real campaign topic.

    Two things happened this week that suggest the answer may be “yes.” Yesterday, at a rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa, Senator Bernie Sanders, who recently entered the presidential race, delivered a speech about how to improve the fortunes of rural America that heavily emphasized the need to combat agricultural monopolies. The argument sounded strikingly similar to the ones recently made by the Open Markets Institute’s Claire Kelloway, in the Washington Monthly, and Austin Frerick, in the American Conservative. 

    Council Bluffs, IA – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders will deliver remarks in Council Bluffs today. See below for full remarks:

    Thank you all very much for being here tonight and thank you for being part of a political revolution which will transform America.

    Thank you for being part of a campaign which is not only going to win the Democratic nomination, which is not only going to defeat Donald Trump, the most dangerous president in modern American history, but with your help is going to transform this country and, finally, create an economy and government which works for all Americans, and not just the one percent. Today, I want to welcome you to a campaign which says, loudly and clearly, that the underlying principles of our government will not be greed, kleptocracy, hatred and lies. It will not be racism, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia and religious bigotry. All of that is going to end.
    The principles of our government will be based on justice: economic justice, social justice, racial justice and environmental justice. Tonight, I want to welcome you to a campaign which tells the powerful special interests who control so much of our economic and political life that we will no longer tolerate the greed of Wall Street, corporate America and the billionaire class – greed which has resulted in this country having more income and wealth inequality than any other major country on earth.

    No. We will no longer stand idly by and allow 3 people in this country to own more wealth than the bottom half of America while, at the same time, nearly 20 percent of our children live in poverty, veterans sleep out on the streets and seniors cannot afford their prescription drugs. We will no longer accept 46 percent of all new income going to the top 1 percent, while millions of Americans are forced to work 2 or 3 jobs just to survive and over half of our people live paycheck to paycheck, frightened to death about what happens to them financially if their car breaks down or their child becomes sick.

    Together, we are going to create a political system which is based on the democratic principles of one person – one vote – and end a corrupt system which allows billionaires to buy elections. Yes. We are going to overturn Citizens United and move to public funding of elections.

    Today, we fight for a political revolution.

    And tonight, I want to offer a very special thanks to the people of the great state of Iowa. In 2016, this is where the political revolution began. Thank you Iowa.

    When I first came here to campaign in 2015 not a whole lot of people knew who I was, nobody took our campaign seriously, and we were at 3 percent in the polls. Further, the ideas that we were talking about then were considered by establishment politicians and mainstream media to be “radical” and “extreme” – ideas, they said, that nobody in America would support.

    Raising the minimum wage to a living wage. Too radical. Guaranteeing health care to all as a right, not a privilege. Too radical. Creating up to 15 million jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure with a one trillion dollar investment. Too radical. Aggressively combatting climate change. Too radical. Reforming our broken criminal justice and immigration systems. Too radical. Not taking money from super PACs and the rich. Too radical. Ending the power of super delegates at the Democratic Convention. Too radical.
    Well, a funny thing happened in Iowa over that year. On Caucus Night we didn’t win 3% of the vote, we won 50% of the vote and half of the pledged delegates.

    And that great start in Iowa led us to win victories in 22 states around the country, 13 million votes, over 1700 delegates at the convention and more votes from young people – black, white, Latino, Asian American and Native American – than Trump and Clinton combined.

    And, by the way. Those ideas that we talked about 4 years years ago that seemed so very radical at that time. Well, today, virtually all of those ideas are supported by a majority of the American people and have overwhelming support from Democrats and independents – and they’re ideas that Democratic candidates for president to school board are now supporting.

    So Iowa, you helped begin the political revolution in 2016 and, with your help on this campaign, we are going to complete what we started here. We’re going to turn our vision and our progressive agenda into reality.

    Today, as we launch our campaign here in Iowa, we say to the private health insurance companies, whether you like it or not, the United States will join every other major country on earth and guarantee healthcare to all people as a right. All Americans are entitled to go to the doctor when they’re sick and not go bankrupt after staying in the hospital. We will no longer accept the absurdity of paying almost twice as much per capita on health care, while we have a lower life expectancy and worse health care outcomes than many other countries.

    The goal of health care must be to provide quality care to all in a cost effective way, not tens of billions in profits for the insurance companies and outrageous compensation packages for CEOs. In 2017, the top 65 healthcare CEO’s made $1.7 billion in compensation including: $83.2 million to David Wichmann, the CEO of UnitedHealth Group and 58.7 million to Mark Bertolini, the CEO of Aetna. We need a health care system that invests in disease prevention, doctors, nurses, dentists and rural clinics. We don’t a system which makes insurance companies and their CEOs super rich.

    Yes. We will pass a Medicare for all single-payer program. Health care is a right. And, by the way, our legislation improves health care for seniors by providing coverage for dental care, hearing aids and eye glasses.

    Today, we say to the pharmaceutical industry, that you will no longer charge the American people the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, the result being that one out of five Americans cannot afford the prescriptions their doctors prescribe. Seniors in this country should not have to cut their pills in half. The outrageous greed of the pharmaceutical industry is going to end. We are going to lower prescription drug prices in this country.

    Today, we say to Walmart, the fast food industry and other low wage employers: Stop paying your employees starvation wages.. Yes. We are going to raise the federal minimum wage to a living wage – $15 an hour. Nobody who works 40 hours a week in this country should live in poverty. And yes. We’re going to make it easier for people to join unions, not harder.

    Four years ago, when we talked about the idea of a $15 an hour minimum wage, it seemed like an impossible dream. Well, since then, I’m happy to tell you that 5 states have passed $15 an hour legislation and, just yesterday, the U.S. House Committee on Labor and Education reported out a bill that will raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $15 an hour. And, I believe, that bill will pass the full House within the month.

    And by the way. Today we say to corporate America that artificial intelligence and robotics are not going to be used just to throw workers out on the street. This exploding technology must serve human needs, not just corporate profits.

    Today we say to the American people that we will rebuild our crumbling infrastructure: our roads, our bridges, our rail system and subways, our airports, our water systems and wastewater plants – and when we do that we create up to 13 million good paying jobs. And let’s be clear. When I talk about infrastructure and clean water we’re talking about strengthening clean water laws so that corporate polluters stop poisoning the drinking water that communities in Iowa and across the country rely on.
    Today we say to the parents in this country that you and your kids deserve quality, affordable childcare. The children are our future, and they deserve the best possible head start in life with a high quality, universal pre-K program.

    Today, we say to our young people that we want you to get the best education that you can, regardless of the income of your family. Good jobs require a good education. That is why we are going to make public colleges and universities tuition free, and substantially lower the outrageous level of student debt that currently exists. America once had the best educated workforce in the world, and we are going to make that happen again.

    Today, we say to our senior citizens, that we understand that you cannot live in dignity when you are trying to survive on $13,000 or $14,000 a year in Social Security benefits. My Republican colleagues want to cut Social Security but we have some bad news for them. We’re not going to cut Social Security benefits. We’re going to expand them.

    Today, we say to Donald Trump and the fossil fuel industry that climate change is not a hoax but is an existential threat to our country and the entire planet – and we intend to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy and, in the process, create millions of good paying jobs. All of us have a moral responsibility to make certain that the planet we leave to our children and grandchildren is healthy and habitable.

    Today, we say to the prison-industrial-complex that we are going to bring about real criminal justice reform. We are going to end the international embarrassment of having more people in jail than any other country on earth. Instead of spending $80 billion a year on jails and incarceration, we are going to invest in jobs and education for our young people. No more private prisons and detention centers. No more profiteering from locking people up. No more “war on drugs.” No more keeping people in jail because they’re too poor to afford cash bail.

    And by the way, when we talk about criminal justice reform, we’re going to change a system in which tens of thousands of Americans every year get criminal records for possessing marijuana, but not one major Wall Street executive went to jail for destroying our economy in 2008 as a result of their greed, recklessness and illegal behavior. No. They didn’t go to jail. They got a trillion-dollar bailout.

    Today, we say to the American people that instead of demonizing the undocumented immigrants in this country, we’re going to pass comprehensive immigration reform and provide a path toward citizenship. We’re going to provide legal status to the 1.8 million young people eligible for the DACA program, and develop a humane border policy for those who seek asylum. No more snatching babies from the arms of their mothers.
    Today, we say to the top 1 percent and the large profitable corporations in this country – people who have never had it so good — that under a Bernie Sanders administration we’re going to end the massive tax breaks and loopholes that you currently enjoy.

    We will no longer accept the absurd situation where large corporations like Amazon, Netflix and General Motors pay nothing in federal income taxes after raking in billions in profits. We will no longer tolerate the situation in which the wealthy and large corporations stash billions in tax havens throughout the world.
    Yes, the wealthy and multi-national corporations in this country will start paying their fair share of taxes. We are going to end austerity for working families, and provide some austerity for large, multi-national corporations.

    Today, we say to the military-industrial-complex that we will not continue to spend $700 billion a year on the military – more than the next ten nations combined. We’re going to invest in affordable housing, we’re going to invest in public education, we’re going to invest in rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure – not more nuclear weapons and never-ending wars.
    ———-
    Brothers and sisters: We’re going to win this election not because we have a super PAC funded by billionaires. We’re going to win this election because we will put together the strongest grassroots coalition in the history of American politics.

    Donald Trump wants to divide us up by the color of our skin, our country of origin, our gender, our religion and our sexual orientation. We are going to do exactly the opposite. We are going to bring our people together – black, white, Latino, Native American, Asian American, gay and straight, young and old, men and women, native born and immigrant.

    We are going to bring our people together for an unprecedented grassroots effort, which, I am happy to tell you, already has over one million people signed up as volunteers.
    ——-
    Brothers and sisters: As someone who represents Vermont, one of the most rural states in the country, let me be very honest with you in saying that the U.S. Congress has, for too long, ignored the many crises facing rural America.

    In Iowa, in Vermont and all over this country, we have seen more and more young people leave the small towns they grew up in and love, not because they don’t want to stay, but because there are fewer and fewer jobs that pay a living wage.

    We have seen schools, churches and community centers shut down, and once vibrant Main Streets become boarded up and deserted.

    In Vermont, Iowa and all across rural America, we have seen family farmers go out of business as the prices they receive for their products decline rapidly and large agri-business corporations and factory farming take over agriculture.

    We have seen rural hospitals and nursing homes shut down, and not enough doctors to provide the quality health care that rural American deserves.

    Tragically, instead of seeing good jobs, education and health care coming into our rural communities, we are far too often seeing despair and depression – and a terrible increase in suicide and opioid addiction.
    Brothers and sisters. We need policies for rural America that represent the needs of working people and farmers, not agri-business and multi-national corporations.

    Among many other things that need to be done is for the federal government to enforce anti-trust laws, and I will appoint an Attorney General who will do just that.

    It is not acceptable to me that the top four packing companies control more than 80 percent of the beef market, 63 percent of the pork market, and 53 percent of the chicken market.

    And these numbers understate the situation.

    In many communities, there really is only one buyer, which means food producers are at their mercy. They must use that corporation’s feed and livestock, they must accept that corporation’s costs, and they must accept that corporation’s lower and lower payment rates. In many cases, the farmer doesn’t even own the livestock or supplies — they are effectively contract employees who are forced to lease everything, and then get paid an inadequate wage for their very hard work.

    With the federal government not enforcing antitrust laws, we have seen mergers like the Bayer-Monsanto approved, giving the two largest conglomerates 78 percent of the corn seed market.

    Further, instead of protecting family owned farms, federal support for agriculture is skewed toward huge farms. The top 10 percent of farms currently receive 77 percent of all subsidies.

    The time is long overdue for the U.S. government to stand with rural America, and that is exactly what I do.
    ———-
    Brothers and sisters. Over the last two years, and before, you and I and millions of Americans have stood up and fought for justice in every part of our society. And we’ve had some successes.

    Together, as billionaires and large corporations have attacked unions, destroyed pensions, deregulated the banks, and slashed wages, we have succeeded in raising the minimum wage to $15 in states and cities across the country. And forced large corporations like Amazon and Disney to do the same. And we have supported teachers who successfully stood up for their kids in strike after strike after strike.

    Together, as the forces of militarism have kept us engaged in unending wars, we have stood arm-in-arm to fight back. For the first time in 45 years, we have utilized the War Powers Act to move us forward in ending the horrific Saudi-led war in Yemen.

    Together, as so many of our young people have received criminal records for nonviolent offenses, we have fought to end the war on drugs, and have seen state after state decriminalize marijuana, and have seen communities expunge the criminal records of those arrested on these charges.

    Let’s be honest: while we have won some victories, our struggles have not always been successful. But I am here to tell you, that because of all the work we have done, we are now on the brink of winning not just an election, but transforming our country.

    And let me tell you what that means.

    When We are in the White House, we will enact a federal jobs guarantee, to ensure that everyone is guaranteed a stable job. There is more than enough work to be done in this country. Let’s do it.

    When We are in the White House we will not only end the decline of rural America, but attack the problem of urban gentrification and build the affordable housing we desperately need all across this country.
    When We are in the White House, we will move aggressively to end the epidemic of gun violence in this country and pass the common sense gun safety legislation that the overwhelming majority of Americans want. People who should not have guns, will not have guns.

    When We are in the White House, we are going to address not only the disparities of wealth and income that exist overall in our nation, but we will address the racial disparities of wealth and income. We are going to root out institutional racism wherever it exists. Not only will we end voter suppression, we are going to make it easier for people to vote – not harder.

    When We are in the White House, we are going to protect a woman’s right to control her own body. That is her decision, not the government’s.

    Make no mistake about it, this struggle is not just about defeating Donald Trump. This struggle is about taking on the incredibly powerful institutions that control the economic and political life of this country. And I’m talking about Wall Street, the insurance companies, the drug companies, the military-industrial complex, agri-business, the prison-industrial complex, the fossil fuel industry and a corrupt campaign finance system that enables billionaires to buy elections.

    These powerful special interests are going to spend a lot of money to try to defeat us. But we have something they don’t have: the power of the people.

    Brothers and sisters: We have an enormous amount of work in front of us. But this what I believe. If we stand together, if we don’t allow Trump and his friends to divide us up; If we stand together as black and white, Latino, Asian American and Native American. If we stand together as gay and straight, men and women, native born and immigrant. If we stand together as rural and urban – north, south, east and west.
    If we understand that there really is no such thing as blue state or red state, but states throughout the country where working people are struggling to survive.

    If we stand together, this country has an extraordinary future. Let’s make it happen.

     

    The other big news came this morning, when fellow candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren made her own antitrust news by unveiling “a regulatory plan aimed at breaking up some of America’s largest tech companies, including Amazon, Google, Apple, and Facebook.” It’s a plan that sounds a bit like former Mark Zuckerberg mentor Roger McNamee’s groundbreaking 2018 Washington Monthly article, which sounded the alarm on the myriad threats posed by the platform monopolies.

    Over the past couple of days, we’ve published a couple of articles that could be viewed as favorable to former vice-president Joe Biden, but now it’s time to issue him a warning. The Democratic Party is already on our antitrust bus, and he needs to get on board too, because his record as a senator on these issues is woeful.

    People often mark the decline of antitrust enforcement as beginning with the election of Ronald Reagan, but that’s not accurate. The history is more complex, and anti-regulatory reform was a hot topic among a lot of Democrats in the 1970s, including many progressives like Ralph Nader. In a recent Huffington Post piece, Zach Carter takes us back to the history books.

    Biden first came to the nation’s capital in 1973 as the junior senator from Delaware, one of the few bright spots for Democrats in a disastrous 1972 election. Like most new members of Congress, he exercised little influence in his early years. At 30, he was barely eligible for Senate service, even younger than Ted Kennedy had been when he took over his brother’s Senate seat in 1962. An inexperienced Biden looked up to Kennedy, revering him almost as an older sibling.

    But as Kennedy ascended the Democratic Party ranks, the two men clashed over the party’s economic agenda.

    “When the Senator from Massachusetts moved up to the chairmanship of the judiciary committee this year, the hearts of antitrust activists beat faster,” The New York Times noted in 1979. Kennedy had his sights on a sweeping piece of legislation that would block corporate mergers based on the total size of the resulting company ― even if the company was a conglomerate of unrelated businesses, and the merger did not increase a firm’s share of business in a particular market.

    But Kennedy almost immediately ran into problems with Biden. When Coca-Cola urged Congress to exempt the soft drink industry from these antitrust regulations, Biden joined Republicans to pass such a bill over the objections of Kennedy and Department of Justice antitrust expert Ky Ewing, who concluded that the bill was “special interest legislation” with “no evidence” to support it.

    Antitrust law was an early salvo in what became a quarter-century struggle to shift the Democratic Party’s base of support away from organized labor toward large corporations. The Biden-Kennedy split carried symbolic connotations beyond the policy implications of their individual votes. Where Kennedy wanted to use the Judiciary Committee to continue the old New Deal-era attack on corporate power, Biden became an advocate for corporate interests that had previously been associated with the Republican Party.

    As Biden fought Kennedy on the Coca-Cola bill, he was also trying to thwart a Kennedy effort that would have empowered consumers to sue over a broader swath of antitrust violations. In 1977, the Supreme Court issued a controversial ruling that only those who directly purchased products could sue companies for antitrust violations. That meant that manufacturers who sold their goods through wholesalers could only be sued by the wholesalers, not consumers.

    Kennedy prepared a bill that would have reversed the court’s decision, but Biden, in the words of The New York Times, “vexed” him by siding with Republicans. Biden was going out on a limb by bucking leadership. Only two of the committee’s 10 Democrats opposed Kennedy on the bill, and the other was Howell Heflin, a conservative Democrat from Alabama. The bill narrowly made it out of committee after Kennedy made some desperate last-minute concessions to win over Republican Sen. Charles Mathias (R-Md.), but the bill never got a floor vote. Kennedy’s broader antitrust ambitions died with it.

    Biden wasn’t a lone wolf. President Jimmy Carter and many of the younger Democrats who filed into Washington after Watergate were eager to break with the liberal orthodoxy that had dominated their party’s thinking since the era of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Even Kennedy had successfully pressed Carter to deregulate the airline industry in 1978, beating Ronald Reagan to the era of deregulation by nearly three years.

    “A lot of us sit around thinking up ways to vote conservative just so we don’t come out with a liberal rating,” Biden told Washingtonian in 1974. “When it comes to civil rights and civil liberties, I’m a liberal but that’s it. I’m really quite conservative on most other issues.”

    If Biden wanted low marks from liberal groups, he got them. By 1978, Americans for Democratic Action, the preeminent liberal watchdog group of the time, gave Biden a score of just 50, lower than its ratings for some Republicans. Kennedy typically scored in the 90s.

     

    The latter day villains in the antitrust battle are already revealing themselves in reaction to Senator Warren’s direct challenge to the power of platform monopolies:

    Senator Elizabeth Warren proposed in a Medium post on Friday to dismantle so-called Big Tech — Facebook, Google, and Amazon — but antitrust experts found serious flaws in her proposal.

    The presidential hopeful is using a “sledgehammer,” that is, breaking companies up, to address problems like data privacy that could be solved in other ways, noted Herbert Hovenkamp, a leading authority on antitrust law.

    Because of economies of scale, Hovenkamp noted, bigger companies can offer cheaper products, and forcing them to spin off businesses could hurt consumers.

    “Customers are not complaining about Amazon — it’s got some of the highest consumer evaluations in retailing. The story for smaller businesses is a little more mixed. But on balance, a lot of them like dealing with Amazon,” noted Hovenkamp, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania law school.

    The tech companies have more money than a Saudi prince, and they have no shortage of “leading authorities on antitrust law” to provide quotes for Yahoo! Finance articles panning the proposals of the Democratic presidential contenders. This is going to be a major battle throughout the 2020 campaign and into the next decade.

    Joe Biden was on the wrong side of this battle when it began in a very significant and major way. He’s going to need a “come to Jesus moment” on corporate consolidation and antitrust regulation if he wants to atone for his past and provide leadership for the future.

    Discuss


              CEO Says Wells Fargo Has Transformed After Scandals; Lawmakers Are Skeptical      Cache   Translate Page      
    Wells Fargo has undergone a radical transformation since it was mired in scandals that resulted in billions of dollars in penalties and fines, the bank's CEO, Tim Sloan, told lawmakers Tuesday. But House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., did not appear to believe him. She called Wells Fargo "a recidivist financial institution." "Wells Fargo's ongoing lawlessness and failure to right the ship suggests the bank — with approximately $1.9 trillion in assets and serving one in three U.S. households is simply too big to manage," Waters said. Sloan faced hours of aggressive questioning from both Republicans and Democrats. They cast doubt on his claim that the bank had reformed since being caught opening fraudulent accounts and overcharging for mortgage and auto loans . They also pressed Sloan to account for a recent report that unethical practices persist with the bank's debt collection and mortgage origination. In his opening remarks , Sloan said his company
              Banks pumped $1.9 trillion into fossil fuels since the Paris climate deal      Cache   Translate Page      

    Your checking account is funding climate disaster.

    After the Paris climate agreement in late 2015, J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon spoke publicly in support of the agreement, which calls for finance flows to be “consistent with a pathway toward low greenhouse gas emissions.” But despite his rhetoric, between 2016 and 2018 his bank ramped up funding for fossil fuels, pouring $196 billion into financing coal, Arctic oil and gas, fracking, tar sands, and other fossil fuel projects. If you bank at Chase, your money might have helped fund drilling in the Amazon rainforest.

    Read Full Story


              Mike Pompeo accuses Beijing of creating debt traps and energy blocks in wide-ranging spray      Cache   Translate Page      
    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has accused China of blocking energy development in the South China Sea through "coercive means", preventing Southeast Asian countries from accessing more than US$2.5 trillion in recoverable energy reserves.Addres
              TAKE ACTION: Sign the petition: Support debt-free college      Cache   Translate Page      
    Today, 43 million Americans hold student debt. College debt has increased 170% since 2007, and now even exceeds $1.5 trillion dollars—more than even credit card debt.


    Submitted by Dogan Ozkan to US Politics & Gov't  |   Note-it!  |   Add a Comment

              Senior Software Development Engineer - Amazon Web Services, Inc. - Seattle, WA      Cache   Translate Page      
    CloudFront currently serves trillions of requests and many exabytes of data per month. Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science or related field....
    From Amazon.com - Tue, 05 Mar 2019 07:51:21 GMT - View all Seattle, WA jobs
              "In Response to Damian" by (Anonymous) - 3.13.19      Cache   Translate Page      
    Entry Submitted Anonymously at 2:56 AM EDT on March 13, 2019

    "Re: Be Kind" by Damian - 3.12.19

    A warm and affectionate greeting MISS DAMIAN.

    I apologize for the inconvenience, i repeat the question for IDC:

    Can i give away trillions of dollars of my exchange to a friend or relative?

    Anonymous atte
    ______________________________________________________

    All articles, videos, and images posted on Dinar Chronicles were submitted by readers and/or handpicked by the site itself for informational and/or entertainment purposes.

    Dinar Chronicles is not a registered investment adviser, broker dealer, banker or currency dealer and as such, no information on the website should be construed as investment advice. We do not intend to and are not providing financial, legal, tax, political or any other advice to readers of this website.

    Copyright © 2019 Dinar Chronicles
              8 years after disaster, Japan must commit to a nuke-free future      Cache   Translate Page      

    When I visited the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in early February, I found that 96 percent of the plant grounds are now designated as “green zones.”
    You can enter a green zone in normal work clothes without wearing special gear for protection against radiation.
    In these areas, radiation levels have declined significantly due to measures including removing debris, cutting down plants and covering the soil with mortar.
    Areas between the No. 2 and No. 3 reactor buildings are also green zones, and I could enter the areas in everyday clothes, wearing just an ordinary disposable mask. It was a dramatic change from several years ago, when I was restricted to seeing the facilities from the inside of a vehicle even though I was wearing a full-body radiation suit.
    There are, however, still many gloomy vestiges of the nuclear devastation that occurred at this plant in March 2011.
    The concrete walls of the No. 3 reactor building were blown off by hydrogen explosions and numerous iron reinforcing rods, violently bent and sticking out of the remnants of the walls, are visible. The outer walls of buildings remain colored a vivid green because of residues of an anti-scattering agent sprayed around immediately after the accident began to unfold to prevent radioactive materials from spreading.
    Massive amounts of melted nuclear fuel debris remain in the No. 1 to No. 3 reactors.
    Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the plant, recently succeeded in using a remotely controlled probe to make the first physical contact with debris inside the containment vessel of the No. 2 reactor. But it is still unclear whether all the debris will be eventually removed.
    The plant is generating a rapidly increasing amount of radiation-contaminated water as the reactors are being flooded to cool the cores and underground water keeps pouring in. Even after being treated with a filtering system, the polluted water still contains tritium, a radioactive form of hydrogen, and has to be stored in on-site tanks.
    The number of the storage tanks filled with contaminated water and placed within the premises has kept growing and is now approaching 1,000.
    Obviously, a long, rocky road lies ahead for the work to decommission the reactors.

    REACTOR RESTARTS CONTINUE
    Serious nuclear accidents cause enormous damage and necessitate lengthy, costly and formidable cleanup work.
    Japan, a nation that has learned these facts the hard way, should seek to build a society that is not dependent on nuclear power generation.
    In an editorial in July 2011, The Asahi Shimbun argued that Japan should pursue the goal of transforming itself into a “zero nuclear power generation society.”
    The process of achieving the goal would involve decommissioning reactors gradually, starting with high-risk and aging units, while keeping the operation of only the ones that are necessary to meet demand for the time being. Through this process, Japan should eventually eliminate nuclear power generation in the not-so-distant future.
    Following the Fukushima disaster, it has been decided that a total of 21 reactors, mostly units that have been in service for decades, will be decommissioned. But this does not mean that Japan is moving toward a nuclear-free future.
    Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration has continued to maintain that nuclear power is an “important core power source” even though it has pledged to lower Japan’s dependence on atomic power “as much as possible.”
    Under the administration’s energy supply target, nuclear power generation should account for 20 to 22 percent of Japan’s total power output in 2030. During the current Diet session, Abe has contended that seeking to end nuclear power generation is “not a responsible energy policy.”
    He has reiterated his administration’s policy of allowing the restarts of reactors that have been confirmed by the Nuclear Regulation Authority to meet the new, stricter nuclear safety standards that were introduced after the Fukushima accident.
    The Abe administration also refuses to abandon the government’s policy of establishing a nuclear fuel recycling program, which has clearly become untenable.
    Most Western industrialized nations have given up on their nuclear fuel recycling programs as they have proven economically unviable. But the Abe administration has not ditched the plan to start operating the plant to extract plutonium from spent nuclear fuel for recycling that is being constructed in Rokkasho, Aomori Prefecture, at an estimated cost of 2.9 trillion yen ($26.02 billion).
    Shinichiro Tanaka, a specially appointed visiting associate professor at the Chiba University of Commerce, has scrutinized the government’s draft budget for the new fiscal year and found that nuclear power-related expenditures account for 40 percent of the planned total energy policy spending by all ministries and agencies.
    This clearly indicates what a large portion of government fiscal resources is being poured into nuclear power.

    GLOBAL ENERGY SHIFT
    In January, the Renewable Energy Institute released a report saying nuclear power generation is losing its competitiveness globally.
    While the costs of nuclear energy have risen due to enhanced safety requirements following the Fukushima accident, the report says, those of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power have fallen, thanks to technological innovations.
    Some countries, including Germany and South Korea, have decided to phase out nuclear power generation. In other major countries, including the United States and Britain, the share of nuclear power in the overall power supply has dropped because of the rise of renewable energy.
    Even France, a leading nuclear power producer, plans to significantly lower its dependence on atomic energy. In China and India, where the government has been eager to promote nuclear power, renewable energy production is growing faster than nuclear power generation.
    Nuclear power once accounted for 17 percent of the world’s total electricity production, but it is now responsible for only around 10 percent of the global power output. In sharp contrast, the share of renewable energy has risen to nearly a quarter of the total. The International Energy Agency predicts that renewable energy will contribute 40 percent of the world’s energy supply in 2040.
    A big global energy shift from nuclear power to renewable energy is taking place.

    RESPONSIBLE DECISIONS NEEDED
    The Abe administration’s efforts to promote exports of nuclear power technology, a key component of its growth strategy, have run into the sands in Britain and Turkey.
    It is a big irony that a nation that has suffered a catastrophic nuclear accident is making frustrating efforts to sell its nuclear technology to other countries while repercussions from the accident are driving the world toward a new energy future.
    This nation’s government still continues devoting huge amounts of resources to maintaining nuclear power generation, which is clearly in decline worldwide, while putting renewable energy, which will assume growing importance in the coming years, on the back burner. Sticking to this policy would cause Japan to be left out of the emerging mega-energy trend.
    It is by no means easy to pull the plug on all nuclear plants in Japan. That makes it all the more important for the government to adopt this policy goal and start taking steps to decommission reactors as soon as possible while making greater efforts to expand the use of renewable power.
    This is also vital for Japan’s efforts to help stem global warming.
    The sooner the policy shift is made the better. Ending nuclear power generation would also stop the growth in the amount of spent nuclear fuel.
    Scrapping the nuclear fuel recycling program would save the government the enormous amount of additional funds needed to operate and upgrade the Rokkasho reprocessing plant.
    Pursuing a goal of zero nuclear power is not an irresponsible policy. The Abe administration has taken an irresponsible stance toward the issue by allowing the opposition-drafted bill to phase out nuclear power generation to gather dust on the Diet shelf for as long as one year and permitting off-line reactors to be restarted one by one without serious debate on the steps.
    It is the responsibility of political leaders to make the decision to phase out nuclear power generation and lay out a clear vision for the nuclear-free energy future of this nation.
    --The Asahi Shimbun, March 12

              How To Send Commands to a Particle Electron with Programmable Wireless and Laravel GUI      Cache   Translate Page      

    Chances are you have heard about IoT or “Internet of Things”. It’s a big area of tech that estimates over 20 Billion IoT devices by 2020. Also, companies are likely to invest around $15 Trillion in IoT between 2017 and 2025. In this tutorial, we will dive into the world of IoT to obtain an understanding of what it takes to interact with these devices. While our example is simple, you can use these building blocks for more complex examples. Asset tracking or remote control of water pumps are just a couple of examples of what you could build. The possibilities are endless when you connect the Internet to things!

    Requirements

    • You are familiar with the terminal (command line)
    • You have Composer globally installed
    • You are familiar with PHP and Laravel
    • You can create a Laravel project
    • You have MySQL installed locally
    • You are familiar with Particle.io Web IDE and C++
    • You have a Particle.io Electron development board and Twilio SIM
    • You have your Twilio SIM registered on your Twilio account

    Programmable Wireless Setup

    The first thing we need to do is verify our Twilio SIM is ready by navigating to the console and confirming your SIM has an ‘Active’ status. If you need additional support with preparing your SIM, please visit this Twilio Doc to help you get prepared.

    Electron data plan

    Hardware Setup

    For this example, we are using a Particle.io Electron 3G development board along with a Relay Shield board. Both parts can be sourced from Particle's online store. Insert your ‘Active’ SIM into your Electron, specifically “SIM Card Holder” #4.

    Particle Electron

    Next, power up your device and follow the 3rd-Party SIM setup from Particle. Once you have your Electron online and breathing cyan you are prepared to move onto the next step.

    Create a New Laravel App

    Now that you have a Twilio powered IoT device on the network and accessible from anywhere, it’s time to create our web application so that we can interface with it. Let’s start by running the following command in terminal:

    $ laravel new TwilioIoT
    


    Installing packages with composer

    Then add the Twilio SDK to your project.

    $ composer require twilio/sdk
    

    With our Laravel App created and our Twilio SDK installed, we are now ready to create our environment variables file. There is a starter file in your project folder named .env.example that we can copy to get us started. Simply run the following command to create your file.

    $ cp .env.example .env 
    

    Then add the following variables to the bottom of your new .env file.

    TWILIO_ACCOUNT_SID=’ACxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx’
    TWILIO_ACCOUNT_TOKEN=’xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx’
    

    Next, update your config/services.php file so we can make these variables accessible in our application code.

    'twilio' => [
           'sid' => env('TWILIO_ACCOUNT_SID'),
           'token' => env('TWILIO_ACCOUNT_TOKEN'),
       ],
    

    Create Controllers

    With our environment setup we can create our applications controller. Run the following command to create a blank controller file where we will add our actions.

    $ php artisan make:controller WirelessController
    

    First, let’s make sure we include the Twilio API SDK by adding the following to our list of namespaces right before the class WirelessController definition:

    use Twilio\Rest\Client;
    

    The following code will allow us to view any SIM associated with your Twilio account. Later, we will setup the view blade that is referenced in this action.

    /** SIM List Page */
       public function Show()
       {
           $client = new Client(config('services.twilio.sid'), config('services.twilio.token'));
           $sims = $client->wireless->v1->sims->read();
           return view('sims', ['sims' => $sims ]);
       }
    

    Now let’s add the other actions we will need. These will be the “Detail” and “Send” actions. The “Detail” action will allow us to show details about any particular SIM that a user wants to click on. The “Send” action will allow our users to send machine-to-machine commands to our device via the Twilio SDK.

    /** SIM Detail Page */
       public function Detail(Request $request)
       {
           $client = new Client(config('services.twilio.sid'), config('services.twilio.token'));
           $simSid = $request->simId;
           $sim = $client->wireless->v1->sims($simSid)->fetch();
           $commands = $client->wireless->v1->commands->read(['sim' => $simSid]);
           return view('detail', ['sim' => $sim, 'commands' => $commands]);
       }
    
       /** Send Command to SIM */
       public function Send(Request $request)
       {
           $client = new Client(config('services.twilio.sid'), config('services.twilio.token'));
           $simSid = $request->input('sid');
           $command = $request->input('command');
           $client->wireless->v1->commands->create($command,
               array("sim" => $simSid)
           );
           return redirect()->back();
       }
    

    Now let’s add our applications layout file. In your /resources/views/ folder create a new file called app.blade.php and just copy and paste the following example code into it. As you can see, this file defines which fonts and styles we will use in our app. It also includes a placeholder for any additional scripts or content we will add. We will reference this file in the following steps to create our new pages.

    <!DOCTYPE html>
    <html lang="en">
    <head>
       <!-- Meta Information -->
       <meta charset="utf-8">
       <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=edge">
       <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1">
       <title>@yield('title', config('app.name'))</title>
       <!-- Fonts -->
       <link href='https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Roboto:300,400,600' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'>
       <link href='https://cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/font-awesome/4.7.0/css/font-awesome.min.css' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'>
       <!-- CSS -->
       <link href="css/app.css" rel="stylesheet">
       <!-- Scripts -->
       @yield('scripts', '')
    </head>
    <body>
       <div id="spark-app" v-cloak>
           <!-- Main Content -->
           <main class="py-4">
               @yield('content')
           </main>
           <!-- Application Level Modals -->
       </div>
       <!-- JavaScript -->
       <script src="{{ mix('js/app.js') }}"></script>
       <script src="/js/sweetalert.min.js"></script>
    </body>
    </html>
    

    Cool. Now we need to create our blade views that we referenced in our controller actions. The first blade view we will create in the /resources/views folder is the “SIM List” view. Be sure to name it sims.blade.php. This view will do two things, list all associated SIMs and add an action to view details of the SIM. Make sure to add the @extends(‘app’) so that we import our app.blade.php file from above. Next, add the @section(‘content’). This is where we will show our list of SIMs on the page and create a link so users can navigate to the action page.

    @extends('app')
    @section('content')
    <div class="container">
       <div class="row justify-content-center">
           <div class="col-md-8">
               <div class="card card-default">
                   <div class="card-header">List of SIMs</div>
                       <div class="card-body">
                           <div class="table responsive">
                               <div class="table table-sm">
                                   <table>
                                   <thead>
                                       <tr>
                                       <th scope="col">Name</th>
                                       <th scope="col">SID</th>
                                       <th scope="col">Updated</th>
                                       </tr>
                                   </thead>
                                   <tbody>
                                   @foreach ($sims as $sim)
                                       <tr>
                                           <td>
                                               <a class="btn btn-block btn-dark"
    href="{{ action('WirelessController@Detail', ['simId' => $sim->sid]) }}" >{{ $sim->uniqueName }}</a>
                                           </td>
                                           <td>
                                               {{ $sim->sid }}
                                           </td>
                                           <td>
                                               {{ $sim->dateCreated->format('d/M/Y h:m') }}
                                           </td>
                                       </tr>
                                   @endforeach
                                   </tbody>
                                   </table>
                               </div>
                           </div>
                       </div>
                   </div>
               </div>
           </div>
       </div>
    </div>
    @endsection
    

    Great, now we can create the detail view for our SIM, which we will name detail.blade.php. This view will provide more SIM details, like a command history table and a way for us to send  machine-to-machine messages.

    @extends('app')
    @section('content')
    <div class="container">
       <div class="row justify-content-center">
           <div class="col-md-10">
               <div class="card card-default">
                   <div class="card-header">SIM Details for {{ $sim->uniqueName }}<a href="/home" class="btn btn-sm btn-success pull-right">SIM List</a></div>
                       <div class="card-body">
                       <div class="row">
                           <div class="col-md-6">
                               SIM ID - {{ $sim->sid }} <br>
                               Updated - {{ $sim->dateCreated->format('d/M/Y h:m') }}
                           </div>
                           <div class="col-md-6">
                           <form action="{{ route( 'send-command', [ 'sid' => $sim->sid ] ) }}" method="post">
                                    @csrf
                               <div class="row">
                                   <div class="col-md-6">
                                       <div class="form-group">
                                           <select class="form-control" id="command" name=”command”>
                                               <option>Open</option>
                                               <option>Close</option>
                                           </select>
                                       </div>
                                   </div>
                                   <div class="col-md-4">
                                       <button type="submit" class="btn btn- block btn-primary">Send</button>
                                   </div>
                               </div>
                           </form>
                           </div>
                       </div>
                       <hr/><h5>Log</h5>
                           <div class="table responsive">
                                   <table class="table">
                                   <thead>
                                       <tr>
                                       <th scope="col">Command</th>
                                       <th scope="col">Mode</th>
                                       <th scope="col">Receipt?</th>
                                       <th scope="col">SID</th>
                                       <th scope="col">Direction</th>
                                       <th scope="col">Status</th>
                                       <th scope="col">Transport</th>
                                       </tr>
                                   </thead>
                                   <tbody>
                                   @foreach ($commands as $command)
                                       <tr>
                                           <td><small>{{$command->command}}</small></td>
                                           <td><small>{{$command->commandMode}}</small></td>
                                           <td><small>{{$command->deliveryReceiptRequested}}</small></td>
                                           <td><small>{{$command->simSid}}</small></td>
                                           <td><small>{{$command->direction}}</small></td>
                                           <td><small>{{$command->status}}</small></td>
                                           <td><small>{{$command->transport}}</small></td>
                                       </tr>
                                   @endforeach
                                   </tbody>
                                   </table>
                           </div>
                       </div>
                   </div>
               </div>
           </div>
       </div>
    </div>
    @endsection
    

    One final step before we test the frontend is to specify our new routes that we referenced in our controller. Go to your routes folder and open the web.php file and include the following three lines.

    Route::get('home', 'WirelessController@Show');
    Route::get('detail', 'WirelessController@Detail');
    Route::post('/command/send', 'WirelessController@Send’)->name(‘send-command’);
    

    Great! Now that we have the frontend setup, let’s run the following command to fire up the server locally and verify the frontend is working.

    $ php artisan serve
    

    Now open your browser and navigate to http://127.0.0.1:8000/home to see your SIM in the list.

    Twilio list of SIMs

    Now, click on your SIM name to view the details page. If you have not sent any messages to the SIM prior to loading this page, your “Command Log” section will be empty.

    Twilio 3G Particle Electron list of commands

    Things are working great. Even though our Electron IoT device code is not complete yet, let’s push a command to our SIM to verify our application can communicate with Twilio without issues. Click on the dropdown to select a command and then click on the “Send” button. The details page will reload and you should see the command you just sent to Twilio in the “Command Log” section.

    Electron command log

    If you made it this far, congrats! Now we are ready to write some code for our Electron device to receive these commands and control our onboard LED.

    Electron Code

    To begin writing your code for the Electron, open a browser and navigate to the Particles Web IDE. I have created a link that you can click on to load all the required code in the WEB IDE, which you can find here. After the WEB IDE loads you should see the App and can click on the “Copy this App” button.  

    Our Electron code will do the following:

    1. Connect to Twilio via the APN “wireless.twilio.com”
    2. Define our onboard LED (act as a relay) and smsBody variables
    3. Setup our “relay” pin mode and check for SMS Mode to verify proper setup.
    4. Enter a loop to check for incoming messages on the Electron Cellular Modem.
      1. If a SMS is received on the modem, we will check the smsBody
        1. If the body is “open” - we cycle the relay on for one second then turn it off.
        2. If the body is “closed” - we cycle the relay on twice at short durations.
      2. Once the message is processed/read, we delete it.
      3. Wait one second, then start the process over again.

    First, we will verify our Electron device is selected as our destination device we want to flash our firmware code written to. In the left hand menu, click on the “Devices”. Now locate your Electron device in the list and make sure the start icon next to it is selected and highlighted in yellow. This will send our firmware code to this device when we “flash” it later.

    Adding an Electron while using Twilo SIM and a Particle Electron

    Now, let’s flash our code! Before we can flash our code, let’s be cautious and make sure that it compiles without errors. This is a very safe practice when dealing with remote devices and firmware. Click on the checkmark button in the upper left menu.

    Twilio IoT SMS Particle Electron

    If the code compiles without error you will see the following success message. You are now ready to flash the code to your Electron.

    Electron flash verified.

    To flash, hit the lightning button in the upper left-hand menu. If all goes well, you will see a “flash successful” message. If your device is nearby, you will see your Electron’s onboard LED cycle in a magenta color. Once the Electron boots back up after the firmware update, you are ready to test command delivery to your Electron.

    Testing

    To fully test, send an “Open” command from the Laravel App to your Electron again. You should see the blue onboard LED turn on for one second and then turn off. If you send a “Close” command, you should see the LED cycle a couple times at short durations. You can control any external sensors or relays similar to how we interfaced with the onboard LED.

    Conclusion

    That’s it! You connected a PHP web application to an IoT device through the mobile network thanks to Twilio’s Programmable Wireless!


              10 things in tech you need to know today      Cache   Translate Page      

    President Donald Trump smiles as he walks on the South Lawn after stepping off Marine One at the White House, Sunday, March 10, 2019, in Washington. Trump is returning from a trip to Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

    Good morning! This is the tech news you need to know this Wednesday.

    1. Google told dozens of employees in its laptop and tablet division to find new jobs at the company, raising questions about its hardware plans. The restructuring involves Google's "Create" division, which is responsible for developing and manufacturing the Pixelbook laptop and Pixel Slate tablet amongst the company's wider swath of "Made by Google" products.
    2. A leaked email revealed that Elon Musk must approve all new Tesla hires. The email also suggests that Tesla has introduced higher standards for hiring.
    3. Tesla laid off 150 recruitment workers as part of its broader cost cutting. The layoffs amounted to about one-third of the team, according a report from Electrek.
    4. Huawei got caught passing off a professional image as a photo taken with its new flagship phone. Images uploaded to Huawei's Weibo account seemed to show the P30's camera in action, but they were actually stock photos taken with a DSLR.
    5. Uber is paying $20 million to end a six-year legal battle with drivers. The drivers argue they should be considered employees rather than contractors, and are there fore eligible for benefits of full-time staff.
    6. President Trump responded to Sen. Elizabeth Warren's proposal to break up big tech companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google. Trump said there was "collusion between the Democrats and these tech companies" during the 2016 election.
    7. Bernie Sanders renewed his war with Amazon over working conditions for its lowest paid employees. Sanders previously demanded that Amazon raise its minimum wage, which it did in November last year.
    8. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said society has a "Facebook problem" following reports that ads from Sen. Warren were blocked by Facebook. Facebook acknowledged that it had removed the ads and reinstated them, saying it had taken them down due to improper use of its logo.
    9. Netflix will "double down" on interactive content like 'Black Mirror: Bandersnatch' in other genres, like comedy or romance. "Bandersnatch" allowed viewers to make decisions throughout the movie, and had over a trillion unique story permutations.
    10. "Apex Legends" has banned more than 350,000 players for cheating during its first month online. Other popular battle royale games have had issues with third-party hacks and cheaters too; "Fortnite" sued a pair of YouTubers for selling cheat software last year.

    Have an Amazon Alexa device? Now you can hear 10 Things in Tech each morning. Just search for "Business Insider" in your Alexa's flash briefing settings.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Elon Musk sent a $100K Tesla Roadster to space a year ago. It has now traveled farther than any other car in history.


              Pachinko Popularity on a Downward Trend      Cache   Translate Page      
    The revered pastime of pachinko (or pachislots) has started to decline as statistics have shown that less individuals are playing, with consumers possibly choosing to get hooked on lootboxes instead. Once valued at ¥30 trillion in 1994, Pachinko has been revealed to be entering into a decline according to a recent survey – a trend […]
              Trump’s record $4.7 trillion budget relies on strong growth      Cache   Translate Page      
    Trump notes that the next step for the U.S. must be "turbocharging the industries of the future and establishing a new standard of living for the 21st century"
              Top 5 Cost-Effective Online Store Ideas      Cache   Translate Page      
    Online businesses continue to grow rapidly year after year. In fact, there was a whopping 24.8% increase in 2017 alone, with global sales reaching up to $2.304 trillion! Now’s the perfect time to get your online business ideas up and running. Fortunately, there are many ways to turn your skills and talent into income. While […]
              CEO Says Wells Fargo Has Transformed After Scandals; Lawmakers Are Skeptical      Cache   Translate Page      
    Wells Fargo has undergone a radical transformation since it was mired in scandals that resulted in billions of dollars in penalties and fines, the bank's CEO, Tim Sloan, told lawmakers Tuesday. But House Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters, D-Calif., did not appear to believe him. She called Wells Fargo "a recidivist financial institution." "Wells Fargo's ongoing lawlessness and failure to right the ship suggests the bank — with approximately $1.9 trillion in assets and serving one in three U.S. households is simply too big to manage," Waters said. Sloan faced hours of aggressive questioning from both Republicans and Democrats. They cast doubt on his claim that the bank had reformed since being caught opening fraudulent accounts and overcharging for mortgage and auto loans . They also pressed Sloan to account for a recent report that unethical practices persist with the bank's debt collection and mortgage origination. In his opening remarks , Sloan said his company
              Greg Hunter, "Record Debt Everywhere"      Cache   Translate Page      
    "Record Debt Everywhere"
    By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com 

    "Money manager Peter Schiff says even though there is “record debt everywhere,” the Fed thinks the economy is fine. Schiff explains, “The actual amount of money the government is borrowing is much larger than what they pretend they are borrowing with the official budget. I think the national debt was up around $1.5 trillion in 2018. It’s probably going to be even greater in 2019. We have the biggest annual trade deficit ever in 2018. We’re going to beat that record in 2019. So, we have the twin deficits going off the charts. 

    None of that worries (Fed Head Jay) Powell. We have record corporate debt, record individual debt, record student debt, auto debt, credit card debt and none of that concerns Powell.  We have record debt for state governments and municipalities. We have underfunded pensions in both the public and private sector. We also have interest rates rising. They have risen quite a bit from a few years ago, and all of that is an added cost on an over-leveraged economy. 

    The reason the Fed did this about face, the reason they are now ‘patient’ and the reason they stopped raising interest rates is all about the United States. It’s all about the enormous debt we have. The Fed inflated a bubble where you had all this debt. It’s impossible to normalize interest rates in this scenario. So, they came up with an excuse to stop, but what the markets still don’t realize is it is not enough. The Fed is ultimately going to go back to 0%. The Fed is not going to shrink its balance sheet. They are going to blow it up bigger than it was before they started to shrink it. There is no way to stop the recession and no way to stop the bear market. They are going to have to go back to the QE, but I don’t think the Fed is going to succeed in blowing a bigger bubble.”

    Schiff goes on to say, “I think when they start to try to reflate the assets in stocks, real estate and in bonds, they are just going to prick the dollar bubble, and that’s when we have a real crisis. . . . The dollar is going to collapse, and America’s days of living beyond its means is going to come to an end.”

    On gold, Schiff says, “I think this is the calm before the storm. People don’t really perceive it. Maybe it’s like the Wile E. Coyote who has just run off a cliff, and he just hasn’t looked down yet. He doesn’t realize where he’s standing. Gold shorts are going to lose an incredible amount of money. That’s probably one of the most foolish things you can do. There are a lot of great things out there to short. Gold is the last thing you should be shorting. For central banks, gold is the safest reserve asset. It’s the only asset that is not somebody else’s liability. I think the world is going back to gold, $5,000, $10,000 (per ounce), who knows how high it’s going to go. There is no real ceiling on the price of gold because there is no floor to the value of the dollar and other fiat currency. Gold is going to skyrocket.”

    And silver? Schiff says, “Look at last time. Silver went up to $50 per ounce from $3 to $4 an ounce in 2000-2001. Gold went to $1,900 per ounce, but silver went to $50 per ounce. It was a much bigger percentage gain. If I am right about gold going to $5,000 to $10,000 (per ounce), I am sure the percentage gain in silver will be even bigger.”
    "Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with money manager Peter Schiff,
     founder of Euro Pacific Capital and Schiff Gold."

              "A Mar-a-Lago of the Mind"      Cache   Translate Page      
    "A Mar-a-Lago of the Mind"
    by David Stockman 

    "I’ve spent enough time in jackrabbit country to know that most of them lead pretty dull lives. No wonder some of them drift over the line into cheap thrills once in a while; there has to be a powerful adrenaline rush in crouching by the side of a road, waiting for the next set of headlights to come along, then streaking out of the bushes with split-second timing and making it across to the other side just inches in front of the speeding front wheels."
    – Hunter S. Thompson, 
    "Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72" (1973)

    "The Donald’s mind is a dim cavern. But his monumental ego has pumped it full of factoids and half-baked fantasies about how he’s achieved MAGA in little more than 24 months. What he’s done is pile several steaming policy turds – his Trade War, his Border War, his and the GOP’s Fiscal Debauch, his “cheap money” rhetorical bombs – atop a lame recovery that was going down for the count anyway. And, when it does succumb to recession, there will be hell to pay… 

    The Federal Reserve is desperate for dry powder. Despite the Powell Pirouette, our monetary central planners have little flexibility to reflate enough and in time for a V-shaped rebound. And Uncle Sam’s $1.2 trillion borrowing requirement this year takes us even farther into no man’s land; it’s a helluva thing to do this late in a weak cycle. It’ll bleed into $2 trillion of red ink when GDP and employment roll over and Corporate America launches its next round of brutal “restructuring” plans, including layoffs and liquidations.

    Once the market hits one of the many ’bergs in its path and Main Street is sunk by CEOs and CFOs, Capitol Hill Republicans will jump ship. Then, it’s only a matter of time before the Great Disruptor is exiled to Mar-a-Lago…

    We saw it with Tricky Dick, who'd won reelection in a landslide in 1972. He’d also 26 years on the rubber chicken circuit. Nixon campaigned for Republican candidates of all stripe, including aspiring U.S. Senators, governors, state legislators, county commissions, mayors, and dog catchers. Yet, within 18 months, the stock market had declined by 38%. The U.S. economy was heading into the drink. And the president’s poll numbers were plunging. Suddenly, the Good Ship Nixon was empty and silent. GOP elders had him on the next helicopter off the South Lawn…

    But Trump is no Nixon. Tricky Dick was deeply insecure. He was also a political realist who knew when he was no longer loved. The Donald is a clueless megalomaniac. He’s so in love with himself that he won’t notice the lapse everywhere else. I have little doubt that, when this aging, wheezing, debt-ridden, Bubble Finance-blown “recovery” comes to its appointed end, the sense of betrayal on Main Street will be bitter and vindictive.

    The Donald was never viewed in Flyover Country as a charismatic political savior anyway. He was just the available vehicle for “left behind” voters’ version of a Hail Mary… Besides, the electoral math doesn’t lie. The Donald won the electoral college by a hairline fluke in a few dozen Rust Belt counties in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Iowa. It was a 90,000-vote margin among 136 million cast.

    He had no political IOUs to collect from before then. And in 2018 the GOP rank and file got shellacked – just 50 days after Peak Trump on the S&P 500 Index. More importantly, unlike Nixon, Trump is an unhinged street-brawler. He rode a trail of bile, bombast, braggadocio, and bullshit to the Oval Office. And that’s how he intends to stay there, judging by his recent appearance at the annual Conservative Political Action Committee conference. A GOP desperate made desperate with fear of the Mother of Electoral Wipeouts in 2020 may beg and plead. But the Great Disruptor won’t go quietly.

    America’s “long nightmare” might be just getting started."
    - https://www.contracorner.com/

              “Trump's FY2020 Budget Bloats Militarized Spending - And Slashes Actual Human Needs”      Cache   Translate Page      
    “Trump's FY2020 Budget Bloats Militarized Spending - 
    And Slashes Actual Human Needs”
    by National Priorities Project

    "Yesterday, President Trump finally released his third presidential budget request, after a month-long delay due to the government shutdown. And... it’s a doozy.
    Click image for larger size.

    Trump’s FY 2020 priorities go even further than last year’s request in bloating the already enormous military budget, requesting $750 billion for the military - an increase of 5%, or $34 billion, from the 2019 enacted budget.

    That would put 57% of the $1.3 trillion discretionary budget into the Pentagon and nuclear weapons. Meanwhile, total funding for all other agencies, from the Department of Education to Veterans Affairs and NASA, is only $543 billion, down from $597 billion budgeted in 2019 - a 9% decrease.

    Here are some of the lowlights of what the Trump budget would do:

    • More than doubles funding for the Pentagon's slush fund, to $165 billion, up from $81 billion enacted last year, enabling a sleight of hand that then lets the administration claim to adhere to legally mandated budget caps set by Congress.
    • Establishes the "United States Space Force (USSF)" proposed as a sixth branch of the Armed Forces.
    • Touts the ramp-up of nuclear funds to begin a planned $1 trillion-plus renewed commitment to U.S. nuclear weapons capacity, with an 8.9% boost to $16.5 billion for even more nuclear weapons proliferation.
    • Cuts the State Department by 23%, making war the leading option to deal with conflicts.
    • Slashes departments that actually meet human needs, like Education (down 12%), Housing and Urban Development (down 16.4%), and the Environmental Protection Agency, which would see a 31% cut.

    Read our full first take and see new updates on the budget at our blog. 

    As you may have heard, presidential budgets rarely come to pass. But President Trump’s extreme intentions are clear, and his recent willingness to shut down the federal government may signal more vicious fights ahead. And as we wrote for Truthout, Democrats have a tendency to cave quickly when it comes to more military spending.

    Read our initial analysis of the Trump budget on NPP's website, check out Lindsay's interview on Rising Up with Sonali, and stay tuned for more budget analysis from us in the week ahead!"
    http://nationalpriorities.activehosted.com/

    I'd never normally do this, but for reasons known only to the gods of Blogger/Google it refuses to connect with my comment rebuttal, so you get it here:

    So this site and the one that put out that story both seem to be very socialist leaning site."
    Reply: Unknown, if you'd read more here than the daily "How it Really Is" cartoon you'd know that accusation is totally false, and is so non-specifically descriptive as to be worthless. I don't tolerate or allow these troll-like snipings, either. More knowledgable readers understand that the legitimate source site for the budget information was properly attributed, and can decide for themselves if any political overtones there are relevant. If you feel your own political beliefs, however shallow and uninformed they may be, are under attack then stop hiding behind an empty profile, reveal yourself and defend your principles. We both know you won't do that, so away with you to the more intellectually compatible confines of Twitter and Facebook...
    - CP

              EVERY DIME ONLINE. IN REAL TIME: That’s the motto of OpenTheBooks.com, the amazing web site that is …      Cache   Translate Page      
    EVERY DIME ONLINE. IN REAL TIME: That’s the motto of OpenTheBooks.com, the amazing web site that is putting trillions of dollars of spending at all levels of government online and accessible to everybody. Adam Andrezejewski is the founder and top poo-bah there and he’s the subject today of The Epoch Times’ “American Thought Leaders” series […]
              Rep. Seth Moulton: $1.9 Trillion Added to Deficit Because of Tax Cut Law Could Pay for 220 Entire Border Walls      Cache   Translate Page      
    Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), vice chairman of the House Budget Committee, said Tuesday that the $1.9 trillion that President Donald Trump has added to the budget deficit through the tax cut law is enough to pay for 220 border walls. Read Full Story
              Senior Software Development Engineer - Amazon Web Services, Inc. - Seattle, WA      Cache   Translate Page      
    CloudFront currently serves trillions of requests and many exabytes of data per month. Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science or related field....
    From Amazon.com - Tue, 05 Mar 2019 07:51:21 GMT - View all Seattle, WA jobs
              DNR reports 1.9 trillion gallons of water pumped in Wisconsin in 2017      Cache   Translate Page      
    - MADISON -- Wisconsin cities, businesses, industries and agricultural operations were among the state's largest users of water in 2017, pumping more than 1.9 trillion gallons of groundwater and surface water, according to a Department of Natural Resources report. - - The state's sixth annual water use report tallies how many gallons were pumped by municipal water systems, agricultural operations, utilities and other sources that have the capacity to pump more than 100,000 gallons of water a day from groundwater or from lakes or rivers.
              Trump broke his promise to fix the debt. He'll blame Congress in 2020.      Cache   Translate Page      
    Analysis: The president said he'd eliminate the debt. Instead, he borrowed trillions more. But he's betting the red ink won't stain him in 2020.
              Norway wealth fund's watchdog turns spotlight on India shipbreaking      Cache   Translate Page      
    The ethics watchdog for Norway's $1-trillion wealth fund will focus this year on shipbreaking on India's beaches, which endangers workers and pollutes the sea and sand, and will also look into pollution caused by pharmaceutical companies.

              Trump cuts foreign aid spending, boosts border security, funds countering Russia in 2020 budget plan      Cache   Translate Page      

    President Donald Trump has announced his 2020 budget request. The $4.7 trillion funding plan cuts foreign aid and DC spending, and gives a boost to the military and border security, as well as to countering Russia’s “influence."
    Announced on Monday, the 2020 budget promises to drive down the US’ staggering $22 trillion debt by cutting “wasteful Washington spending,” while demanding more resources for defense and national security.

    The document outlines $2.7 trillion in spending cuts aimed at slashing nondefense spending by five percent. The State Department will see its spending cut by 23 percent, the Environmental Protection Agency will suffer a 31 percent chop, and food stamps will be cut by $17 billion and other welfare programs by $22 billion.


              Η τιμή της "προστασίας" των ΗΠΑ ανεβαίνει κατακόρυφα      Cache   Translate Page      
    Manlio Dinucci
    Δεν είναι μόνο η μαφία που απαιτεί λύτρα έναντι της "προστασίας" της. 
    «Τις πλούσιες χώρες που προστατεύουμε  -προειδοποίησε απειλητικά ο Τραμπ σε ομιλία του προς το Πεντάγωνο- ειδοποιήθηκαν όλες: θα πρέπει να πληρώσουν για τη προστασία μας».
    Ο πρόεδρος Τραμπ  -αποκαλύπτει η Bloomberg-  θα παρουσιάσει το σχέδιο «Cost Plus 50», το οποία προβλέπει το ακόλουθο κριτήριο: οι συμμαχικές χώρες οι οποίες φιλοξενούν τις δυνάμεις των ΗΠΑ στο έδαφός τους θα πρέπει να καλύπτουν πλήρως το κόστος τους και να πληρώσουν στις ΗΠΑ ένα επιπλέον 50% με αντάλλαγμα το «προνόμιο» να τις φιλοξενήσουν και ως εκ τούτου να «προστατεύονται» απ’ αυτές.

    Το σχέδιο προβλέπει επίσης να πληρώνουν οι χώρες υποδοχής τους μισθούς των Αμερικανών στρατιωτικών και το κόστος διαχείρισης των αεροσκαφών και πολεμικών πλοίων που διατηρούν οι Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες στις χώρες αυτές. Η Ιταλία θα πρέπει να πληρώσει όχι μόνο τους μισθούς των περίπου 12.000 Αμερικανών στρατιωτών που σταθμεύονται στο έδαφος της, αλλά και το κόστος της διαχείρισης των F-16 και άλλων αεροσκαφών που σταθμεύονται από τις ΗΠΑ στο Αβιάνο και Sigonella, και το κόστος του έκτου Στόλου με έδρα τη Gaeta. Σύμφωνα με το ίδιο κριτήριο, θα πρέπει επίσης να πληρώσει τη διαχείριση του στρατοπέδου Camp Darby, του μεγαλύτερου οπλοστασίου των ΗΠΑ εκτός μητέρας-πατρίδας και τη συντήρηση των αμερικανικών πυρηνικών βομβών που αποθηκεύονται στο Αβιάνο και Ghedi.
    Δεν γνωρίζουμε πόσο οι Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες σκοπεύουν να ζητήσουν από την Ιταλία και τις άλλες ευρωπαϊκές χώρες οι οποίες φιλοξενήσουν τις στρατιωτικές τους δυνάμεις, καθώς δεν γνωρίζουμε καν πόσο πληρώνουν σήμερα αυτές οι χώρες. Τα δεδομένα καλύπτονται από το απόρρητο μυστικό  Άμυνας. Σύμφωνα με μελέτη της εταιρείας Rand Corporation, οι ευρωπαϊκές χώρες του ΝΑΤΟ καλύπτουν κατά μέσο όρο το 34% του κόστους των δυνάμεων και των βάσεων των ΗΠΑ στις επικράτειες τους. Αλλά δεν γνωρίζουμε ποιο είναι το ετήσιο ποσό που πληρώνουν στις ΗΠΑ: η μόνη εκτίμηση - 2,5 δισεκατομμύρια δολάρια – χρονολογείται πριν από 17 έτη.
    Το ποσό που καταβάλλει η Ιταλία είναι συνεπώς μυστικό επίσης. Γνωρίζουμε μόνο ορισμένα επιμέρους ποσά: για παράδειγμα, δεκάδες εκατομμύρια ευρώ για να προσαρμοστούν τα αεροδρόμια του Aviano και Ghedi για τα μαχητικά F-35 των ΗΠΑ και για τις νέες πυρηνικές βόμβες B61-12 τις οποίες θα αρχίσουν οι ΗΠΑ να αναπτύξουν στην Ιταλία το 2020 και περίπου 100 εκατομμύρια ευρώ για εργασίες στη ναυτικο-αεροπορική  βάση της Sigonella εις βάρος της Ιταλίας. Στη Sigonella μόνο η Νας I, η διοικητική περιοχή και χαλάρωσης χρηματοδοτείται αποκλειστικά από τις ΗΠΑ, ενώ η Νας II, λειτουργικές υπηρεσίες, και ως εκ τούτου η πιο ακριβή, χρηματοδοτείται από το ΝΑΤΟ, και συνεπώς και από την Ιταλία .
    Σε κάθε περίπτωση, είναι σίγουρο -προβλέπει ένας ερευνητής στην Rand Corp. -  ότι με το σχέδιο "Cost Plus 50" το κόστος για τους συμμάχους "θα αυξηθεί στα ύψη". Μιλάμε για αύξηση κατά 600%. Θα προστεθεί στις στρατιωτικές δαπάνες, οι οποίες στην Ιταλία ανέρχονται σε περίπου 70 εκατομμύρια ευρώ ημερησίως και προορίζονται να ανέλθουν σε περίπου 100, σύμφωνα με τις δεσμεύσεις που ανέλαβαν οι ιταλικές κυβερνήσεις στην έδρα του ΝΑΤΟ.
    Πρόκειται για δημόσιο χρήμα, από τις τσέπες μας, που αφαιρούνται από παραγωγικές επενδύσεις και τις κοινωνικές δαπάνες. Αλλά είναι πιθανό η Ιταλία να πληρώσει λιγότερα για τις δυνάμεις και τις βάσεις των ΗΠΑ που αναπτύσσονται στην επικράτειά της. Το σχέδιο "Cost Plus 50" προβλέπει πράγματι μια " έκπτωση για καλή συμπεριφορά" υπέρ «των συμμάχων που ευθυγραμμίζονται στενά με τις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες, κάνοντας ό, τι ζητούν».
    Είμαστε βέβαιοι ότι η Ιταλία θα επωφεληθεί από μια μεγάλη έκπτωση επειδή, από κυβέρνηση σε κυβέρνηση, παρέμεινε πάντοτε στα απόνερα των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών. Τον τελευταίο καιρό, στέλνοντας στρατεύματα και πολεμικά αεροπλάνα στην Ανατολική Ευρώπη με το πρόσχημα ότι θα συγκρατηθεί η «ρωσική απειλή». και ευνοώντας  το αμερικανικό σχέδιο για την ταφή της συνθήκης INF για την ανάπτυξη στην Ευρώπη, συμπεριλαμβανομένης της Ιταλίας, πυρηνικών πυραυλικών εγκαταστάσεων που στοχεύουν τη Ρωσία.
    Δεδομένου ότι τα τελευταία θα γίνουν στόχοι πιθανών αντιποίνων, θα χρειαστούμε "προστασία" από άλλες δυνάμεις και βάσεις των ΗΠΑ. Τις οποίες θα πρέπει να πληρώσουμε, αλλά πάντα με την έκπτωση…
    Μετάφραση από τα ιταλικά σε γαλλικά από  MA P.


    US looks to get more cash from allies that host its troops
    By LOLITA C. BALDOR  March 8, 2019
    President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive on Air Force One at Lawson Army Airfield, Fort Benning, Ga., Friday, March 8, 2019, en route to Lee County, Ala., where tornados killed 23 people. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration is eyeing a plan to seek more money from allied European and other nations where American troops are based.
    Several U.S. officials said Friday that the White House has asked the Defense Department to gather data on the costs of keeping troops in other countries and how much those nations contribute to the expenses. The officials weren’t authorized to publicly discuss internal deliberations and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
    President Donald Trump has waged a lengthy, public campaign to get NATO allies to meet the goal of spending 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense. And in the last two years, a number of allies have increased their spending.
    The officials said this latest effort is along those lines. They said the collection of data could be used in subsequent meetings and discussions to pressure allies to help offset the costs of having U.S. troops within their borders.
    The plan was first reported by Bloomberg.
    National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis said that getting U.S. allies to “increase their investment in our collective defense and ensure fairer burden-sharing” has been a long-standing U.S. goal.
    “The Administration is committed to getting the best deal for the American people,” Marquis said in a statement issued Friday.
    He declined to provide details on any ongoing deliberations.
    Most NATO allies have a U.S. presence, but there are larger bases and military populations in countries such as Germany, England, Japan, Italy, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain.
    Derek Chollet, former assistant defense secretary for international affairs, said that allies should pay their fair share. But, he said, the bases serve critical U.S. interests and must not be considered charitable contributions.
    For example, key U.S. military commands that oversee operations in Europe and Africa are located in Germany as well as the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, where thousands of American troops were treated after injuries in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
    “The fact is that U.S. bases are an essential part of protecting American interests — in Europe, Asia, Africa or the Middle East,” said Chollet, now with the German Marshall Fund of the United States. “Moreover, those countries that host our troops want to be our partners, and the message he (Trump) is sending is that we don’t care. This is totally self-defeating.”
    Just last week, South Korea and the United States signed a deal that would increase Seoul’s financial contribution for the deployment of U.S. troops in the Asian country. After rounds of failed negotiations, chief delegates from the two countries last month agreed on Seoul paying about 1.04 trillion won, or $924 million, in 2019 for the U.S. military presence, up from about $830 million last year.
    There are about 28,500 U.S. troops in South Korea.

    US may demand ‘allies’ pay 150% for privilege of hosting troops


    US may demand ‘allies’ pay 150% for privilege of hosting troops
    Frustrated by its allies’ lagging military spending, the Trump administration is reportedly drawing up demands that countries where US troops are stationed pay the full cost – and then some – for the ‘privilege’.
    The White House is drawing up demands that Germany, Japan, South Korea and eventually every other country ‘hosting’ US troops on its soil pay “cost plus 50” – 150 percent – for their upkeep, including the soldiers’ salaries, Bloomberg reports, citing “a dozen” sources in the Trump administration.
    The Pentagon was asked to gather data on the cost of keeping US troops abroad and countries’ contributions toward these expenses, several officials – again, anonymously – told AP on Friday. Countries whose policies “align closely” with the US would get an unspecified discount, according to these sources.
    ALSO ON RT.COM‘More tensions in Europe’: US is beating ‘Russian threat’ drums to make EU buy more arms
    President Donald Trump is pushing the proposal personally, according to Bloomberg, going so far as to demand “cost plus 50" in a note to National Security Advisor John Bolton, when the US was negotiating the status of 28,500 or so troops in South Korea. The two countries eventually agreed on Seoul paying $924 million in 2019, up from $830 million the year before.
    By way of comparison, Germany currently pays 28 percent of the cost of US troops being based on its soil – about $1 billion-a-year – according to Rand Corporation researcher David Ochmanek. At a recent congressional hearing, the top US general in Europe asked for even more troops, citing a “threat” from Russia. This was in addition to US demands for European NATO members to buy more US-made weaponry.
    ALSO ON RT.COMTop US general in Europe cries ‘Russian threat’ to get more troops, planes & ships
    Starting when he was on the campaign trail, Trump has repeatedly called for US allies to compensate Washington for the privilege of being ‘defended’ by Americans, but this reported proposal is the most specific suggestion as to how that would be done.
    Such a move would ensure the allies have “skin in the game,” US ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland said in an interview, indirectly confirming the existence of the plan. The US foreign policy establishment was alarmed by the proposal, however, blasting it as a surefire way to alienate allies the US relies on for global projection of power and influence.
    “Even raising this question feeds a misinformed narrative that these facilities are there for the benefits of those countries,”Douglas Lute, US ambassador to NATO under the Obama administration and now a fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center, told Bloomberg.
    The truth is they’re there and we maintain them because they’re in our interest.
    US bases are “an essential part of protecting American interests” across the world, and asking host countries for money would be “totally self-defeating,” said Derek Chollet, Obama’s assistant defense secretary, now at the German Marshall Fund.
    Ivo Daalder, another former ambassador to NATO under Obama, blasted the proposal as “preposterous” and said it would turn the US military into de facto mercenaries.


    The US troops deployed in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East enhance American national security by deterring threats to critical US interests and conducting military operations as necessary.
    We are in Europe and Asia not just to defend allies, but to prevent the return of conflict and war, which would be far more costly to US security and prosperity. Deploying troops to keep the peace is a fundamental US interest—and much cheaper than fighting wars.


              Secretary's Remarks: Keynote Address at CERAWeek      Cache   Translate Page      
    Remarks
    Michael R. Pompeo
    Secretary of State
    Hilton Americas-Houston Hotel
    Houston, Texas
    March 12, 2019


    SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you, Dan. Thank you all for joining me. I see you standing in the back. It’s like church, there’s empty pews in the front if you want to come up and grab a seat. I do think – is there anyone from the Petroleum Equipment Suppliers Association here? I’m pretty sure I’m the only former member to ever serve as Secretary of State, so you should put that right on the front of your web page. I think that’s legal.

    Good evening, everyone, and thanks to you all for being here. I heard CERAWeek has been just spectacular. It’s quite a crowd. I’ve seen many of you here. I’ve had the chance to get to know many of you as well. People call Washington “the swamp,” and they call Houston “the bayou.” Now, I will tell you that they’re both the same in August in a suit and a tie, but there is – there’s one really big difference. One of the two works desperately to seek rents from its citizens, and the other works desperately to create wealth for the people who live there. I will leave to you which is which, but suffice to say, I’m glad to be in Houston.

    It’s great to join so many foreign dignitaries and business leaders as well that operate all around the world. I’ll certainly spend a great deal of time tonight focused on the United States and the things I’m doing as America’s most senior diplomat, but it’s wonderful to see folks from all around the world who are involved in this important endeavor. Dan, thanks for your kind remarks. I’ve read Dan’s work for an awfully long time. You all are familiar with The Prize, but your ideas have informed me more broadly than that, more than just about energy. I’ll talk about The Commanding Heights. That’s a book that was written now 20-odd years ago, which I read in hardback. I paid full price, Dan.

    MR YERGIN: Thank you.

    SECRETARY POMPEO: But I think it’s important for what it is that I’m doing as Secretary of State. As Dan said, I spent a fair amount of time in the oil and gas industry. I ran a small company; it was called Sentry International. We made and sold mud pumps and swivels and hook blocks and downhole equipment, and we distributed sucker rod, so I know the industry well, the whole nine yards in oil and gas. I spent a lot of time in Midland, Odessa, Longview, and all kinds of – Oklahoma and Canada. Is there anybody from Lufkin here tonight? So my partners and I swore that we would listen to the quarterly conference call for Lufkin every quarter until they mentioned Sentry as destroying their business. We were small enough it never happened, but we continued to live in hope that we could compete and grow and prosper in the way that so many of you have.

    My time as Secretary of State isn’t that far from – removed from what I did running that small company headquartered in Wichita, Kansas. The reason why is something you know; it’s obvious for all of you in the audience. Because we are now in the new age of discovery that history will remember as society changing in scale, and global changing. Instead of sailing off to new lands the way it was done old-school by Columbus and Magellan, we’re making discoveries right here in the United States of America right under our feet. And you all know that here in America we have the free enterprise system to thank for this modern-day miracle. And I want to talk about why that matters. Things like horizontal drilling and fracturing, the Shale Revolution, the oil derricks that dot the landscape all throughout the Permian Basin matters. New drilling technology and greater energy output are transforming American life and lives all around the world in the same way that the changes did when Spindletop first took place back in 1901. It was a game-changer, and what this industry is doing today is game-changing as well.

    I travel the world some, and when I do and meet with my foreign minister counterparts or presidents or prime ministers, they’ll ask me how did America come to do this. How did you literally blow out American energy production to go from a place of scarcity to a place of massive exports. And I tell them that they should simply look at places like Midland, Texas, people that are willing to work their tails off, often without a college education, earn six-figure salaries and they run businesses themselves that have ‘Now Hiring’ signs hanging on their front doorstep. Look at places, too, like Kaktovik, Alaska, the polar bear capital of the United States of America. Their small native community is now working diligently to tap into the resources that they have under their feet. And you see this – you see this in towns like Wichita, Kansas, all across America, that the economic struggles, the lack of jobs that took place for a decade no longer have to be. We can continue to be the engine – and the energy – and as we can continue to be the engine that succeeds in building out the United States of America.

    Now, recent history should remind us all that we’re not just producing energy for Americans. It’s never truly been the case, but less so now than ever before. Today, you all know we’re exporting crude oil at levels that were previously unimaginable. It took two partners to achieve that. It took our shale producers and risk-takers, and it took Congress lifting the oil export ban in 2015, which I voted for. You should all see me as I walk out and say thanks. (Laughter and applause.)

    In August of last year, the United States surpassed Russia as the world’s top producer. When it comes to global supply, U.S. oil production rose at the fastest pace in history, the largest one-year increase in oil production that the world has ever seen. That’s awesome and it’s important.

    After all, only about a decade ago, we did live in a world where we imported 60 percent of our oil, and now we’ve shrugged off that oak of energy dependence, not just thanks to oil, but we’re doing the same in natural gas today as well, and I know there’s more and even a brighter future there. We shouldn’t forget, too, about the incredible growth in renewable energy. I’m confident that the American system – leaving the commanding heights in the hands of private risk-takers – will allow that industry to continue to grow and export as well.

    I had the chance to meet with Secretary Kissinger about two months ago, and I was asking about a handful of things, and he, 45 years ago, brought foreign ministers to his office to figure out how the world was going to deal with energy scarcity. A couple weeks back, I brought Dan into my office to talk about how the heck we were going to make sure we could get it from the American interior to the coast so that we could deliver this to foreign partners who are demanding this.

    And there, I want to turn to the real focus, the main topic, what our newfound energy abundance means for American foreign policy, what you all can help me and President Trump deliver to the world.

    It’s really – it’s very simple: Our plentiful oil supplies allow us to help our friends secure diversity for their energy resources. We don’t want our European allies hooked on Russian gas through the NordStream II project any more than we ourselves want to depend on Venezuela for our oil supplies.

    This need, this desperate need for diversification is why we exported more crude oil last year to countries all across the globe. Places as diverse as India, Japan, China, the Republic of Korea, Italy, Ireland, the United Arab Emirates. The list is long. It’s why, shortly before the United States made its first LNG shipment to Europe, it made it to a place that people don’t think about, the country of Portugal that now has access to American energy resources.

    You should all know – and I hope you have seen this. I’ve been doing this now all of 11 months, so I’ve got it all figured out. I hope you all have seen that my team at the State Department is working hard to expand these relationships. Last April, we formalized a commitment to bolster Vietnam’s energy security. In October, the State Department hosted its first dialogue with Australia on energy security. And these operations, these opportunities will just be the beginning.

    But truth is, here’s my point: We’re not just exporting American energy, we’re exporting our commercial value system to our friends and to our partners. The more we can spread the United States model of free enterprise, of the rule of law, of diversity and stability, of transparency and transactions, the more successful the United States will be and the more successful and secure the American people will be.

    Our model matters now, frankly, more than ever in an era of great power rivalry and competition where some nations are using their energy for malign ends, and not to promote prosperity in the way we do here in the West. They don’t have the values of freedom and liberty, of the rule of law that we do, and they’re using their energy to destroy ours.

    Take China, just for starters. China’s illegal island-building in international waterways isn’t simply a security matter.

    By blocking development in the South China Sea through coercive means, China prevents ASEAN members from accessing more than $2.5 trillion in recoverable energy reserves. To contrast, the United States Government promotes energy security for those Southeast Asian nations. We want countries in the region to have access to their own energy. We want to help them. We want to create partnerships. We want transparent transactions, not debt traps. We explore responsibly.

    China doesn’t play by that same set of rules. Its values are simply different. You see that in places as diverse as Africa, where they often ship in their own labor, creating jobs for Chinese workers rather than for those in the local economy. It’s using the debt trap which I referred to just a moment ago to put these countries in a place where it isn’t a commercial transaction, it’s a political transaction designed to bring harm and political influence in the country in which they’re operating.

    Many of you may not know this: China’s largest creditor today – excuse me, Latin America’s largest creditor today is China.

    And we all know the story in Russia. It invaded Ukraine to gain access to oil and gas reserves. It in turn deprived Ukraine of the possibility of developing those resources for itself and using its pipelines and its networks to bring energy to its own people. Rather, it uses those pipelines to put pressure – political pressure – on the people of Ukraine.

    The story isn’t too terribly different in Syria. Assad covets the oil fields to the east of the Euphrates River in the eastern part of the country. He wants those resources, he wants those wealth to continue to impoverish the people of Syria, and use those resources for himself and the cronies who are around him.

    Perhaps there’s no clearer example than in Iran. Iran uses its energy exports to exert undue influence all across the Middle East, most particularly today on Iraq. While the United States is working to develop an independent, sovereign Iraq, Iran is using its energy to create a vassal state. We have worked hard over the past months to reduce the flow of Iranian crude oil around the world, to convince the Iranian leadership to protect its citizens and deliver to its citizens what it is they’re asking for, and to reduce the risk of terror and instability throughout the Middle East.

    There could not be more of a contrast about how America uses its energy resources than how the leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran use their.

    And finally, as we see in the headlines today, Cuba props up Venezuela’s Maduro regime. That’s because Venezuela ships 50,000-some-odd barrels of oil today at a subsidized price to Cuba, providing roughly 30 percent of its overall energy needs.

    You all, the wealth that you’re creating here in the United States, can change that. Look, this is the world we live in. The good news is that we know how our model is superior. And as Daniel Yergin wrote in that book back in 1998, it is markets, not governments, that have proven more adept from the commanding heights. But our way of life, our business model, and our future aren’t things that we can take for granted. There is no certainty that this model will continue.

    The Trump administration is working strongly, based on its firmly held conviction that we must further America’s interests by widening the tools we have available to our diplomats, especially the tool of American energy abundance. You all know this: It’s a complex, interconnected world. You have partnerships with companies all across the globe, and the United States has to compete. We have to create energy security for those all around the world. And we can do this. We can do this by partnership, by American diplomats working to ensure that markets are open for American businesses all around the world.

    There are three ways. First, we can do this through facilitating investment. We do that by creating the engine for capital formation here in the United States. Foreign firms have invested more than 100 billion in the U.S. shale sector just since 2008. Twenty percent of these investments were joint investments between foreign companies and American companies. We can continue to promote that.

    You won’t see this in many other places, but there are places. In Southeast Asia, the United States is the single largest source of cumulative foreign investment. And the State Department has played an important role in helping investors make good decisions and getting access. An example is our program about the Indo-Pacific being open. We call it the Asia Edge Initiative. It helps Indo-Pacific partners import, produce, and deploy their own energy resources.

    The second way, other than investment, is we can promote energy security by encouraging countries to partner with the United States all around the world. And I’ve seen this at work. We’re reminding them that we’re simply better to do business with than Russia, China, or Iran. Our deals come with no hidden strings attached, our contracts are clear, our motives unambiguous.

    On recent trips, my State Department colleagues and I have been touting the high standards of transparency, responsible financing, and adherence to the rule of law that American companies bring along with them. It’s what you all are known for, what American businesses are known for.

    I’ll give you a good example. I was in Warsaw now – oh, goodness, it must have been three or four weeks ago. I was with Foreign Minister Czaputowicz. He and I were discussing how we can diversify the Polish energy supply, not only with energy but with routes and with the types of fuels that we can deliver to them. We’re making progress. We’re accomplishing parts of that mission. We’re doing it with the help of countries[1] like Sempra Energy, like Cheniere and Venture Global LNG. They’re helping destroy the Russian monopoly on Polish energy.

    And although it’s certainly the case that our firms will benefit financially, this isn’t just about dollars and cents for American companies. It’s about America’s national security. It’s about Russian influence peddling and the need to stop it. We must bring this to an end, and you all can be an important part of that.

    It was Winston Churchill who once said when it comes to energy security, quote, “safety and certainty … lie in variety and in variety alone.”

    That may not be quite true, but it’s certainly an important thing for each of us to think about and American diplomats to help you deliver on. We commend countries like Croatia for what they’re doing with the LNG terminal on Krk Island, as well as Lithuania for taking similar steps to diversify and acquire energy away from the Russian footprint.

    That brings me to the third and final way that the State Department can help achieve this national security through energy abundance. We’re pushing bad actors – those who use their energy towards malign ends – off the target.

    I talked about Iran. You know its role in global energy markets. We know that role is diminishing. Its exports have tanked due to our pressure campaign, and we have every intention of driving Iranian oil exports to zero just as quickly as we can.

    We’ll continue with sanctions until Iran behaves in the way normal nations do, without threatening assassination campaigns in Europe, conducting terror campaigns throughout Syria and Iraq, without underwriting Hizballah. These are the ways that energy can keep Americans, Europeans, and Western countries all more secure.

    And we’re committed to doing this. We’re committed to using all of the economic tools at our disposal in Venezuela, where our sanctions to date on Venezuela kicked in back in January. We are hoping and working towards a good outcome there.

    We need to continue to build our energy security in the ways I’ve described. We need to roll up our sleeves and compete by facilitating investment all across the world and encouraging partners to buy from us and by punishing bad actors.

    The State Department wants to work with each and every one in this room tonight, American companies and foreign companies alike. We want to achieve these goals because we think we have the model that will make not only America but the world more secure.

    In the days ahead, you should know, America will continue to be asked to meet the world’s energy demand, especially in places like the Indo-Pacific. Our private partners are essential to that. The private sector will be absolutely instrumental. It certainly can’t be done if the commanding heights are handed to the government. But neither private enterprise nor the federal government can do it alone. We need each other. It is American producers, working in tandem with American diplomats, who can create this stability and prosperity all around the world.

    As I close and prepare to take questions from Dan, I want to encourage the rest of the world to get on board with this project. Come follow America’s energy blueprint, which is to innovate, not subjugate; to contribute, not to coerce; to allow markets to command the heights.

    At least for the rest of my lifetime, the world will need oil and gas and petrochemicals to produce gasoline, to produce jet fuel, fertilizers, and pharmaceuticals.

    We should consider ourselves pretty darn lucky here in the United States. We’ve worked hard. But in the age of the new discovery, our shared ability to provide these things is now greater than at any other point of history, and we need to keep it that way. I know that you’ll work alongside, as you should know that America’s State Department will continue to work alongside you.

    Thank you for being here. May God bless you and may God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)

    MR YERGIN: Thank you, Mr. Secretary. That was great.

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you.

    MR YERGIN: Thank you, Mr. Secretary (inaudible) heights. (Laughter.)

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Available in the lobby.

    MR YERGIN: Or online.

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Or online, yes.

    MR YERGIN: Yes. As – you described this massive growth in abundance, and I guess when you met Secretary Kissinger, your predecessor, he must’ve been a little envious of the position, given what --

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Yes.

    MR YERGIN: Yes.

    SECRETARY POMPEO: I think so.

    MR YERGIN: Yeah. So you’ve described the objectives. How is this abundance affecting the role of the State Department itself?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: So this has always been – I mean, the State Department has 1,700-plus economic officers whose mission it is around the world – we’re in 180-plus embassies – whose mission is to ensure that American companies get a fair shake, a real opportunity. Our task now is to make sure we understand what it is you do, that we have the context for what it is you’re trying to achieve. These diplomats haven’t, for the most part, lived their life in the energy sector, so these are fields with which they may well not be familiar. But we’re determined, and President Trump and I have both made clear that one of our missions is to make sure that our team knows that, that our team is on the field, that we’re in every corner of the world working to make sure that American companies have access without tariffs, without non-tariff barriers, all the things that you see in the news. And you should, if you haven’t – if you operate in a country and you haven’t reached out to your embassy, America’s embassy, you must do that. If you’re in Washington, stop in, meet with Assistant Secretary Fannon and our team. We’re determined to work alongside to understand and be able to help you all deliver the energy security that I described in my remarks.

    MR YERGIN: This evening you’ve mentioned, and in other important speeches, the Indo-Pacific concept. And how do you see the role of the U.S. position itself in terms of the overall growing competition in the region?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: So the challenge that’s presented to America and to the world by China is different than one that we’ve confronted before. Our National Security Strategy defines how we think about China in the Trump administration. There are many differences, but one of the most fundamental is we’ve never had another country of the scale of China, with the military of the scale of China’s, that has now expanded into space and property that they do not have a lawful claim to, but with which America has such a deep, intertwined economic and commercial set of relationships. It was often the case, as it is with certain countries today, that we don’t have those commercial relationships, so we move away and try and drive them out of the marketplace. China is more complicated and more difficult, but no less challenging to ensuring that America’s wealth creation engine is around 10 and 20 and 30 years from now.

    In the Indo-Pacific proper, I don’t travel to any country in Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia where energy isn’t a topic. I will be honest; where – depending on where I am, they mention it either in public or in private. Many of them don’t have the capacity on their own to stand up to the coercive behavior of China, where China moves in and attempts to use its economic clout to influence and control their government. They all welcome companies from the United States. They welcome American capacity for the rule of law. They may not always say this, they may not always speak their mind publicly, but know that I have literally not met a single one of those countries or leaders from one of those countries that didn’t want a more American opportunity, more American resources, more American technology and innovation as part of the mix.

    MR YERGIN: You spoke about the Middle East. And of course, the Middle East is always a central question, but your Middle East Strategic Alliance is a unique approach. How does energy fit into that and how do you see the Middle East Strategic Alliance working with the other organizations in the group, like the Gulf Cooperation Council?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: So the Middle East Strategic Alliance is still in its very formative stages. There’s still a lot of work to do. We have multiple pillars that we’re trying to build an alliance around – the Gulf states, Egypt, Jordan – to create a stability in the Middle East that has been something that the world has longed for for decades, you might argue centuries; for an awfully long time. A set of countries that are largely likeminded; we all know they have their challenges and their conflicts, they think about parts of their portfolio differently, but there’s an enormous amount of overlap as well.

    And so one of the pillars is the economic pillar, where they’ll compete, right. They’ll sell their product, their gas from Qatar, the oil from Saudi Arabia. Wherever it may be, they’ll go compete. But there are lots of places where they can work together. And so if you combine economic understandings, diplomatic understandings, military understandings, each of these pillars, we think there’s a way to build an alliance that we have not seen there before. It’ll take us a bit, it won’t be straightforward, it’ll be bumpy. But we think there are a set of common threats that are different than at any time in recent history that provides an opportunity to get these folks to come together.

    It will work alongside other institutions in the Gulf – OPEC, the GCC, all of these other institutions that exist and predate what we’re trying to do with MESA. We don’t think this drives them out, but we think it provides another forum, another place for these countries to work together, most importantly on pure national security issues.

    MR YERGIN: Right, so this is something that will evolve over the next months or --

    SECRETARY POMPEO: So we – fits and starts along the different pillars, but we do hope over the next several months we make a big step and get pieces of this reduced to paper, where countries can provide their input, respond, and we can be thoughtful about how to approach it so that perhaps by the end of the year, we’ve made substantial progress.

    MR YERGIN: Well, you do bring unique perspective to energy questions having been in the industry, and at the same time now, where you sit in your responsibilities. And if you think broadly about the role of private sector, government working together, each of them contributing to energy security, prosperity, how do you see that balance?

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Tell me what you’re thinking, Dan. What do you mean?

    MR YERGIN: Well, the role of each, what do you expect from the private sector in terms of – and the nature of the cooperation.

    SECRETARY POMPEO: So for those of you out there that need a lathe operator, I’m the first Secretary of State that can actually run a lathe, so if this whole diplomatic thing falls through, I’m ready to get back at it. The truth of the matter is the most stable places in the world are ones that have deep economic relationships with the United States of America. What – my expectation for you is that you will go out and try and crush it every day, and create wealth for your shareholders, great opportunities for your employees, that you’ll go build your business successfully not only here in the United States, but you’ll do it all across the world as well. Our task is here, domestically, not my portfolio, but to create a set of rules for capital formation, and a regulatory environment in which you can grow and prosper. And then my task is to make sure you’ve got every opportunity to go compete.

    I – of all the challenges – I laid out half a dozen maybe there, Dan, in the remarks. I could have gone on to another half a dozen pretty readily. I don’t think anyone should ever bet against the United States of America. I am convinced that if diplomatically and through using the American force for good in the world, if we get you out there and get you a chance to compete, you’ll do fantastic, you’ll excel. I remind my team – and this is a bit of a discourse, but I think it’s – when I remind my team all the time, our presence matters. People not only see what we’re doing diplomatically, the things we’re asking of these countries to do, sometimes for themselves, sometimes for our mutual interests, but they watch how we behave. We treat each other with respect. We understand the rule of law. We have court systems that are functional and work. We work hard; we tell the truth. These fundamental things that happen when American companies show up, other countries see. And so whatever the value proposition that they’re evaluating, you should know that the fact that this traditional set of liberty, freedom, and a willingness to work hard matters in a lot of these places as well, and I think America will benefit from that a long time. And so if I were betting, I’d bet on us.

    MR YERGIN: Right. Well, Mr. Secretary, your message is not only to the Americans in the audience but there are about 75 other countries here, and I think it’s an important message to both sets of people about the nature of the partnership and the division that you’ve outlined. So we thank you very much for coming to join us this evening and sharing this view of energy and U.S. foreign policy and what’s ahead. So thank you very much.

    SECRETARY POMPEO: Thank you, Dan. Thank you all very much. Thank you. (Applause.)


    [1] companies


    The Office of Website Management, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department.
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              The New Roadmap for the Future for Telecommunications Companies      Cache   Translate Page      

    Harvard Club of New York
    35 W 44th St
    New York, NY 10036

    Wednesday, March 27, 2019 | 8:00 AM - 10:30 AM US ET

    ABOUT THE EVENT

    Telecommunications companies are at a crossroads. While the global telecommunications industry generates more than $6 trillion in revenue today, rapid shifts in technology are disrupting the industry as demand for deeper, widespread and near-instantaneous connectivity grows.  

    Now, as new non-traditional competitors converge around telecom, how can legacy telecommunications companies transform and develop creative business models and creative experiences? As technology like 5G evolves, how will the industry keep up with demand for competitive innovation matched by financial muscle?

    Join Harvard Business Review in New York City on March 27 for an interactive session that will look at how the roadmap to telecom success is changing. With experts and leading practitioners, we will take a look at how companies are shifting from a focus on subscription to services. We will examine the approaches telecoms companies are developing to collaborate with partners and enhance customer engagement.

    The panel discussion will also explore the different business models that are being use by these companies and how telecommunications companies can choose the approach that plays to their strengths.

    This is an intimate, invitation-only event for select executives, and your voice is critical to this discussion. Be sure to register today to secure your seat on March 27.

     

    EVENT DETAILS AND AGENDA

    Wednesday‌, March‌ 2‌7, 2‌0‌1‌9 
    Harvard Club of New York 
    35 W 44th St 
    New York, NY 10036 

    8‌:‌0‌0‌-‌9‌:‌3‌0‌ A‌M Guest Check-In & Breakfast 
    9‌:‌0‌0‌-‌10‌:‌3‌0‌ P‌M Panel Discussion & Audience Q&A



    Request Free!

              Mixed earnings: NSE indicators maintain negative outlook      Cache   Translate Page      

    Activities on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), for the second consecutive day, maintained bearish trend, dropping further by 1.02 per cent due largely to mixed 2018 earnings reports. Our correspondent reports that the market capitalisation on Tuesday, nosedive by N120 billion or 1.02 per cent to close at N11.677 trillion against N11.797 trillion on Monday. […]

    The post Mixed earnings: NSE indicators maintain negative outlook appeared first on Newsverge.


              Fighting Talk: Brexit and civil disorder      Cache   Translate Page      

    “We should cut the heads off the politicians,” said the waiter in Corfu to us, as EU-imposed austerity crushed Greece in 2010. Before the week was out there were riots in Athens, buildings were set on fire and three bank employees burned to death.

    Thankfully, we’re nowhere near that stage, but if you lift the lid off social media you’ll see the pot is bubbling ferociously. Britain is split in two, each half calling the other all sorts of names. Most of these ranters qualify for jury service and the franchise; one trembles at the thought of “direct democracy.” One in four of the population is said to suffer from a mental disorder and to judge by Facebook it’s plausible.

    But in a way, hardly surprising. Far from seeking to reunite the country, professional politicians in the UK have been fomenting discontent among Remainers and have even advised EU leaders on how to subvert the Referendum result.[i]Is it a coincidence that the Daily Mail has been given a new editor who has U-turned the paper’s line and now characterises Brexiteers as “saboteurs” leading us to an “abyss”?[ii]

    Even the Eurocrats are infected. Mr Van Rompuy, who looks as if he couldn’t decapitate a boiled egg, fantasises about holding a knife to our throat[iii]; Mr Tusk, even less loved in his native Poland than here[iv], smirks at a vision of “those who promoted Brexit” in Hell[v]. Their intemperate language is a clue to the fact that there is not one but two crises brewing.

    The first is the European Union’s. Jean Monnet’s dream of a Europe that could never make war with itself again, has been caught in the trap of confusing aim with method. Full political unification has been pursued clandestinely and with an almost suicidal obsession, like Captain Ahab after his White Whale. As a prelude, the single currency was forced into being despite the unreadiness of participants like Greece and Italy, both of which fudged their economic data to qualify and have suffered for it since.

    The EU’s appetite for centralised control and aggrandisement remains unslaked (would C P Snow have dubbed them “the labradors of power”?) Straight after the centenary of the Armistice, Frau Merkel returned to her theme of a European intervention force.[vi]Now she is after an aircraft carrier[vii]- just when it is rumoured that China plans to sell off her own to Pakistan.[viii]How does one justify the expense of such capital ships, with their increasing vulnerability?[ix]

    And the interference in the Ukraine that has heightened tensions between the Western alliance and Russia – see the military build-up in the region on both sides[x][xi]- hasn’t put the EU off its plan to foster supranational order elsewhere, too: “Africa is the future,” said Mr Juncker in his 2018 “State of the Union” address, urging more collective arrangements there of the kind that were the foundation stones of the EU.[xii]

    In the midst of this, Brexit and the common man threaten to spoil the grand project of the philosopher-kings. Again and again, on shows like Question Time, ordinary people are bluntly challenging their elected representatives to do what was solemnly promised in 2016.

    This brings us to the second, local crisis. By affirming (not only orally but in the official pamphlet[xiii]) that the Referendum would be held once only and that the result would be implemented whatever the outcome, our leaders effectively turned it into a binding plebiscite; and now they wish to resile.

    That has raised and dashed expectations in the most emphatic way, and the implications are dangerous. If this vote is delegitimised, then so are all the ones passed in Parliament, many of them by a smaller margin than four per cent[xiv].

    What would the consequences be? Former Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab said on last week’s Question Time that there will be a “day of reckoning” if Brexit is nullified[xv], and he may be thinking of deselections, Party membership cancellations and the shattering of the two-party system itself. But some think, or worse, wish, that it could go further – even Dr Richard North has said, perhaps only half-jokingly, “It is not only ideas that develop in the provinces – so do revolutions.”[xvi]

    Fortunately, revolutions and civil wars don’t just happen, and a good thing too, as whatever the outcome the process is horrific; and often long-drawn-out, because unlike a war there’s nobody to make peace on behalf of the whole country. They need an evil constellation of factors, but that discussion is for another occasion.

    Having said that, one of the possible triggers is major financial dislocation. Not just the vindictive awkwardness in trading arrangements that the EU appears to be preparing for us, cutting off its nose to spite its face, but the kind of long-cycle economic downturn that Irving Fisher[xvii], Nicolai Kondratiev[xviii]and others have theorised.

    The role of debt has been overlooked by many economists and Professor Steve Keen has estimated that only some 20 out of 10,000 professionals foresaw the 2008/2009 Global Financial Crisis. For those who think the crisis is over because of Quantitative Easing and Modern Monetary Theory, it’s worth noting that global debt is now bigger than ever – some three times the size of the world’s GDP.[xix]Despite high levels of money-printing we are not yet seeing significant inflation, but that is because economic demand is dropping and debt servicing is a growing challenge; the turnover of cash is slowing and offsetting the effects of monetary inflation.[xx]Also, the US dollar, the world’s reserve currency, is being snapped up by foreign countries scared of local currency depreciation/default, so at present those dollars are not cascading back into the USA and boosting the price of everything, says analyst Martin Armstrong.[xxi]

    Harder times are coming: goodbye cheap energy, a booming consumer economy and abundant public services; hello to cheating WASPI women of their promised State pensions, trimming the social benefits of the gilets jaunes and so on. Ordinary wage-earners now need additional financial support to make ends meet; real hourly wages have pretty much stalled over the last 40 years since the multinationals saw massive opportunities for capital in global workforce arbitrage. Sir James Goldsmith warned[xxii]about the socio-economic consequences at the time of GATT in 1994, and now it has all come to pass.

    It will go on until it can’t, but who knows when or how that will happen?

    When the times come that “try men’s souls”, the search is on for an ideological map to find our way out. Power relations come under scrutiny. In the eighteenth century, the American colonists adopted the Enlightenment analysis that rooted power in the consent of the people, so that when General Gage defended his lumping American rebel officers with their men by saying that he recognised only ranks derived from the King, George Washington replied that for his part he could not conceive any rank “more honorable that that which flows from the uncorrupted choice of a brave and free people - the purest source and original fountain of all power." Five months later came the publication of Tom Paine’s “Common Sense”, arguing on the same lines and setting the movement alight.

    Ian Geering QC’s piece this week on the Bruges Group site (10 March) follows this tradition.[xxiii]It is a normative political philosophy – this is how we feel things ought to be, rather than how they have been for most of recorded history. Did the Americans complain of taxation without Parliamentary representation? Leeds, Birmingham and Manchester shared their plight, while Old Sarum had seven voters and two MPs.[xxiv]Up to the twentieth century, only a fraction of the adult British population could vote at all, and had to resort to other means to register their dissatisfaction: as Tony Benn observed at the time of the Maastricht capitulation, “Riot has historically played a much larger part in British politics than we are ever allowed to know […] Unless we can offer people a peaceful route to the resolution of injustices through the ballot box, they will not listen to a House that has blocked off that route.”[xxv]

    And that, as of last night (12 March 2019), is where we are: watching a cloth-eared Parliament rejecting an "open prison" Withdrawal Agreement yet fighting against a clean break, either way negating what the people decided upon.

    Yes, the people are divided – by their very nature, votes are divisive; the key to peace is to accept them as decisive. But those with access to power and the media have worked hard to jemmy the cracks wider. The process of re-radicalisation has started, and this time the State seems either unconscious of the peril, or (like George III) sure of its ability to patronise and repress.

    Britain nearly had a conflagration in 1789. The philosopher Richard Price, a friend of Paine, gave a French Revolution-inspired speech: "A Discourse on the Love of Our Country", looking at the fundamentals of politics and, like Paine, rooting power in the people. The reception was enthusiastic (a term with distinct connotations of danger, in those days.)

    The State was alive to the danger, and acted. Certain gentlemen came to advise Price on his future conduct. Burke began to compose a justification for the British Constitution in rebuttal. 1789 marked the last time a woman was burned at the stake (in London, for coining.) Radical groups such as the London Corresponding Society were infiltrated by government agents and ultimately suppressed; yet even with the brakes on, the vehicle of power was pushed inch by inch, over the next century, towards electoral reform and democratisation.

    Answering the radicals who took revolutionary France as their model, Edmund Burke articulated a pragmatic scheme for the Parliamentary government we now have, a balance between the royal Executive and popular representation, and between constituency representation and mere delegation. This circumvented the bloody conflict of first principles that played itself out on the other side of the Channel.

    But Burke was addressing the problem of how we govern ourselves, not whether we should be able to govern ourselves at all; even pragmatism has its limits. And on this latter issue, the people - firmly assured by their representatives that this vote would be decisive - made their determination. The task of their representatives was then to carry it through, while closing the divisions among the people as they went forward. They have failed on both counts. The issue has now turned from UK versus EU, to people - a confused, disunited, squabbling people - versus Parliament itself.

    All our democratic progress is in danger of being thrown away.

    For if the solution to the threat of revolution in Britain as France burned was to fashion its own sustainable form of democracy, then to discard democracy is to wind the clock back to pre-revolutionary days. And then the clock will start forward again, towards fresh crisis – and solutions that have already failed.


    [i] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/10/tony-blair-secretly-advising-emmanuel-macron-brexit-former-pm/
    [ii] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-6305601/DAILY-MAIL-COMMENT-Saboteurs-endangering-nation.html
    [iii] https://twitter.com/zacgoldsmith/status/1100441759669198848?lang=en
    [iv] https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01/03/polands-foreign-minister-calls-eus-donald-tusk-icon-evil-stupidity/
    [v] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-47143135
    [vi] https://www.politico.eu/article/angela-merkel-emmanuel-macron-eu-army-to-complement-nato/
    [vii] https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/germany-proposes-european-aircraft-carrier/
    [viii]https://nation.com.pk/10-Feb-2019/china-to-sell-aircraft-carrier-to-pakistan
    [ix] https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/navy-aircraft-carriers-too-vulnerable-survive-34917
    [x] https://www.defensenews.com/smr/nato-priorities/2018/06/25/poking-the-bear-us-air-force-builds-in-russias-backyard/
    [xi] https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/15/world/europe/ukraine-russia-military-buildup.html
    [xii] https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/brexit/2019/02/21/the-uk-will-remain-an-integral-part-of-an-ever-closer-europe/
    [xiii]“The EU referendum is a once in a generation decision… This is your decision. The government will implement what you decide.” https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/why-the-government-believes-that-voting-to-remain-in-the-european-union-is-the-best-decision-for-the-uk/why-the-government-believes-that-voting-to-remain-in-the-european-union-is-the-best-decision-for-the-uk
    [xiv]E.g. the Callaghan government fell in 1979 when the vote of no confidence was carried by a single vote.
    [xv] https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1097284/Brexit-news-dominic-raab-BBC-question-time-brexit-secretary
    [xvi]“Brexit – too late for panic” (6 March 2019) http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=87167
    [xvii]https://seekingalpha.com/article/104135-irving-fisher-on-debt-deflation-and-depression
    [xviii]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kondratiev_wave
    [xix] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-01-15/global-debt-of-244-trillion-nears-record-despite-faster-growth
    [xx] https://www.stlouisfed.org/on-the-economy/2014/september/what-does-money-velocity-tell-us-about-low-inflation-in-the-us
    [xxi] https://www.armstrongeconomics.com/armstrongeconomics101/economics/the-fallacy-of-mmt/
    [xxii]Part 1 of 5 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PQrz8F0dBI
    [xxiii]https://www.brugesgroup.com/blog/who-governs-and-by-what-right
    [xxiv]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rotten_and_pocket_boroughs#Rotten_boroughs
    [xxv] https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm199192/cmhansrd/1991-11-20/Debate-6.html



              GOLDMAN SACHS: There's a big misconception surrounding the impact of Trump's tax cuts      Cache   Translate Page      

    trump tax reform

    • A Goldman Sachs analysis out last week suggests there are misconceptions around the impact of President Donald Trump's tax cuts.
    • Many on Wall Street and Capitol Hill have said the tax cuts are being spent on corporate stock buybacks and not capital expenditures.
    • Stock buybacks have been under attack on Capitol Hill, with some arguing companies should provide better benefits before repurchasing shares.
    • But a Goldman Sachs report found that US companies have sharply increased their cash outlays in growth investments after the tax reform.

    President Donald Trump signed a sweeping tax-overhaul bill into law in late 2017, offering big tax rebates to corporate America in order to stimulate economic growth. Yet, American companies plowed billions of dollars into buybacks, causing some Washington lawmakers to worry that US businesses spent the gains merely on share repurchases rather than reinvestment in their core businesses.

    Goldman Sachs released a report last week pushing back against that conclusion, saying that while stock buybacks did increase, so too did investments in growth.

    Growth investments, which include capital expenditures as well as R&D spending, have accounted for the "largest share of US corporate cash outlays every year since at least 1990," and that conflicts with "the popular belief advanced by some politicians that buybacks dominate corporate spending," Goldman Sachs strategists led by David Kostin wrote.

    The report comes just days after Washington lawmakers refreshed their political furor against stock buybacks. A number of lawmakers, including Republican Sen. Marco Rubio and Democratic Sen. Chris van Hollen, recently indicated they may propose legislation to curb buyback incentives, worried that US corporations have been using the proceeds from Trump's tax cuts to boost their share prices rather than investing them in growth-producing projects. 

    And earlier this year, Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders published an opinion piece in the New York Times, in which they blamed the buybacks for creating "the worst level of income inequality in decades" and said they would introduce a bill prohibiting a company from repurchasing its shares unless it pays a $15 minimum wage, provides "seven days of paid sick," and offers decent pensions and health benefits. 

    Stock buybacks did boom after the Congress passed the sweeping tax overhaul in late 2017, posting a 52% jump last year to $819 billion for S&P companies. The figure, according to Goldman, will grow to $940 billion in 2019.

    However, the staggering increase in stock buybacks didn't crowd out other corporate spending, the bank said. And while American companies plowed hundreds of billions of dollars into buybacks, they have also made sizable capital investments intended to grow their businesses.

    Growth investment surged by 13% last year to $1.1 trillion. That trend is expected to continue in 2019, with Goldman estimating that growth investments will increase to $1.2 trillion, or 38% of the total cash outlays by S&P companies. 

    Another long-held belief the report pushed back against is that corporate executives are motivated to allocate more funds to repurchase outstanding shares from investors because of the way they are compensated. 

    "One of the greatest misconceptions in the public discourse surrounding corporate buybacks is the belief that managements repurchase stock in an attempt to inflate earnings per share (EPS) and meet incentive compensation targets," Goldman argued.

    "Contrary to popular belief, executives whose compensation depends on EPS did not allocate a greater proportion of total cash spending to buybacks in 2018 than companies where management pay was not linked to EPS."

    The 247 firms in the S&P 500 Index with EPS-linked incentive pay plans spent 28% of their total cash outlays on share repurchases last year, while the other firms that don't link payoffs to EPS performance allocated 32% on buybacks, the bank found.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here's why McDonald's Filet-O-Fish sales skyrocket in March


              Here's how Apple could use the Apple Watch to break into a whole new market for itself with healthcare (AAPL)      Cache   Translate Page      

    Tim Cook Apple Watch

    • Apple could have a big opportunity in the health care market, longtime analyst Gene Munster said in a research note.
    • The company could soon offer a service that would allow physicians to access the health data from patients' Apple Watches for a monthly fee, he said.
    • Physicians would pay the fee, because they're increasingly having to bear the financial risk of treating patients, he said.
    • The data could help them sooner detect potential problems in patients and also help them encourage healthier lifestyles.

    Apple's wearable devices could soon serve as its gateway into the massive American healthcare market.

    The iPhone maker could soon set up a subscription service targeted at physicians and medical groups that would allow them to access the health data collected by Apple Watches and other devices worn by their patients, Gene Munster, a longtime Apple analyst, wrote in a research note Tuesday.

    The service, for which Apple might charge doctors $10 per patient per month, would allow them to monitor their patients' health and potentially encourage healthier choices and lifestyles, he said.

    "For physicians or any payer who covers healthcare expenses, there's a market for this now," said Munster, a managing partner with investment firm Loup Ventures. "Apple’s healthcare services opportunity," he continued, "likely lies in harvesting the data from [Apple] Watch and AirPods, then filtering, analyzing, and making it actionable."

    Apple CEO Tim Cook is clearly interested in healthcare

    Apple hasn't announced any plans to develop such a service. But CEO Tim Cook has been clear about his interest in healthcare in general and in developing new health-related features for Apple's wearable devices. Apple Watch has a pulse monitor built into it, monitors the wearer's activities, and can be set to remind them when to stand or breathe. The latest version of the software underlying the device includes a feature that allows the device to take electrocardiogram readings.

    apple watch series 4 ecg"You will see continued things in the watch area that keep pulling the string between wellness and health," Cook said at the company's annual shareholder meeting earlier this month.

    Read this: Apple is now one of the biggest investors in research and development, and critics are wondering what it's getting for its money

    But the company's interest in health goes beyond Apple Watch. Apple was granted a patent in December for a version of its AirPods headsets that could include a biometric sensor that could be used to detect a wearer's pulse rate or blood oxygen level, Munster noted. Meanwhile, the company announced a deal last month with the US Veterans Administration that will allow military veterans to view their health records from the VA and other institutions in the Health app on the iPhone.

    "Everything is right there," Cook said at the shareholder meeting.

    Apple will likely build on such initiatives to try to create a real business around healthcare, Munster said in his note. A part of the motivation is there's a gigantic opportunity there, he said. 

    Physicians have an incentive to sign up for an Apple health service

    The US in total spent about $3.5 trillion on health care in 2017, amounting to about 18% of its gross domestic, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Consumer tech companies such as Apple have had little presence in that market so far, but that could change soon, Munster said.

    apple airpodsThe industry has been shifting away from traditional fee-for-service reimbursement practices toward paying doctors and medical groups per use monthly fees to care for patients, he noted. Those fees shift the risk from insurers to physicians, giving them a financial incentive to promote healthier lifestyles and choices among their patients. Unlike insurers, doctors are also in direct contact with patients, making it easier for them to influence patents' behavior, Munster said. Those two factors could make them amenable to health-related service from tech providers such as Apple, he said.

    "As financial incentives shift to providers, physicians will be more willing to pay for consumer tech that influences behavior and provides early warning systems," Munster said.

    Apple is in a prime position to take advantage of this market because of the popularity of Apple Watch and its AirPods, he said. There are about 57 million Apple Watches currently in use, he estimated. That number could easily be four times larger than that eventually, he said.

    For investors, the most important thing about Apple's health care opportunity is that Wall Street isn't yet accounting for it, Munster said.

    "We believe the healthcare opportunity is not currently priced into [Apple's] shares," he said.

    Got tip about Apple or other tech companies? Contact this reporter via email at twolverton@businessinsider.com, message him on Twitter @troywolv, or send him a secure message through Signal at 415.515.5594. You can also contact Business Insider securely via SecureDrop.

    SEE ALSO: Tim Cook says conservative Apple employees who feel shunned should 'come talk to me'

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A drone builder claims he invented the smallest flying car in the world — the Koncepto Millenya


              Internet of Things leads component trade expansion      Cache   Translate Page      

    Demand for electronic components used in Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices has driven the value of trade in international imports of information and communications technology (ICT) goods in 2017 to reach $2.1 trillion, according to UNCTAD. 

    The post Internet of Things leads component trade expansion appeared first on SAFETY4SEA.


              Senior Software Development Engineer - Amazon Web Services, Inc. - Seattle, WA      Cache   Translate Page      
    CloudFront currently serves trillions of requests and many exabytes of data per month. Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science or related field....
    From Amazon.com - Tue, 05 Mar 2019 07:51:21 GMT - View all Seattle, WA jobs
              Windex glass cleaner will be in 100% recycled ocean plastic bottle      Cache   Translate Page      
    The new product is the world’s first glass cleaner bottle made from 100% recycled ocean plastic.
    SC Johnson to launch Windex Vinegar Ocean Plastic bottles in the spring. A fall 2019 version will include materials collected through a program that will minimize waste while addressing poverty.

    As part of its ongoing commitment to tackling the problem of plastic pollution in oceans, SC Johnson has announced that it will launch its 86-year-old Windex brand in a bottle that uses 100% recycled ocean plastic.


    “With over 5 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean, conditions are continuing to get worse and worse,” says Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “The Windex bottle is just one of the many ways we are not only providing solutions to combat ocean pollution, but taking action to make these solutions a reality.”

    The Windex Vinegar Ocean Plastic bottles will be an everyday offering and will be made available at North American retailers such as Target and Walmart. As many as 8 million units will hit retail shelves this spring. According to SC Johnson, the new product is the world’s first glass cleaner bottle made from 100% recycled ocean plastic, and it is also non-toxic and cruelty-free.

    Plans are underway to launch a 100% Social Plastic Windex bottle with Plastic Bank by fall of 2019 that will include recycled ocean-bound social plastic sourced by Plastic Bank from Haiti, the Philippines, and Indonesia, which SC Johnson says not only helps the environment, but also provides social benefits to people living below the poverty level. Under this program, the company is now creating recycling programs as part of the solution to stopping ocean-bound plastic and addressing poverty at the same time. The program is designed to educate on recycling and get people to live with and use plastic responsibly. Each bottle will represent a new source of income or economic opportunity for the program’s participants.

    “The goal is to create recycling infrastructures to help minimize plastic waste and address the challenges of poverty at the same time,” says Johnson. “This is a massive environmental issue, and it is going to take businesses, governments, NGOs, and civil society working together to solve it.”

    Senior Editor, Packaging World

              Norway wealth fund's watchdog turns spotlight on India shipbreaking      Cache   Translate Page      
    The ethics watchdog for Norway's $1-trillion wealth fund will focus this year on shipbreaking on India's beaches, which endangers workers and pollutes the sea and sand, and will also look into pollution caused by pharmaceutical companies.

              Africa: Fashion's Tiny Hidden Secret      Cache   Translate Page      
    [UNEP] Fashion today is about obsession with outward image and appearance. Rarely do we as consumers consider what's on the inside: the hundreds of thousands of fibres that make up our clothing which have led to an estimated 1.4 million trillion plastic fibres in the ocean.
              Trump proposes a record $4.75 trillion budget      Cache   Translate Page      
    By Jim Tankersley and Michael Tackett New York Times News Service WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump sent Congress on Monday a record $4.75 trillion budget request that calls for increased military spending and sharp cuts to domestic programs like education and environmental protection for the 2020 fiscal year.…
              Mississippi Should Join Call for Convention of States to Amend U.S. Constitution      Cache   Translate Page      

    Aaron Rice and Ilya Shapiro

    Two days before the framers signed the Constitution, one delegate noticed a defect in the plan. He rose to point out that under the current proposal, only Congress could initiate the process of amending the Constitution.

    But if the federal government grew out of control, it could never be counted on to rein in its own power. There needed to be a way for the states to initiate the amendment process.

    The other convention delegates agreed and unanimously voted to add provisions to Article V, which equipped the states with the power to call for a convention at which delegates would make amendment proposals — which would then have to be ratified by the states.

    The day the framers feared, when the federal government would far exceed its legitimate powers, arrived years ago.

    Congress has long exercised powers that are not constitutionally authorized. At the same time, in an effort to avoid hard choices and increase its members’ reelection chances, Congress has delegated most of the actual work of legislating to faceless, unaccountable bureaucracies, which continue to grow unchecked.

    The Federal Register, which contains all proposed and final regulations issued by federal agencies, has published over 3.2 million pages. If it were printed and stacked, it would be taller than the Washington Monument. This mountain of regulation — not even legislation — slows economic growth, stifles innovation, and prevents countless Americans from pursuing their version of the American Dream.

    The growth in our federal government has also led to unsustainable federal spending. The federal debt recently topped $22 trillion. Our country’s entire GDP is only $20.5 trillion, meaning that if we took every penny that is earned or produced by every American over the course of a year, we still could not pay off our debt. Every American’s share of the debt is currently about $67,000, and within 10 years, every man, woman, and child will owe $100,000. Future generations of Americans are being born into staggering debt for services they will never see.

    The Supreme Court has been complicit in this perversion of the constitutional order, failing in its duty to serve as a check on the power of the legislative and executive branches. As the federal government has grown large enough to control every facet of our lives, so has the importance of the Supreme Court grown. The court now routinely rules on the most important political issues in American life, including healthcare, immigration, affirmative action, abortion, political gerrymandering, and campaign finance. These “winner takes all” decisions have led to more polarization and a more toxic political discourse.

    With a conservative majority on the court, there is hope that the constitutional ship can be righted. But it will take decades to uproot the mountain of bad precedent that has built up for nearly a century. We should all hope that the federal courts will finally begin taking their constitutional role seriously. But we should do more than hope.

    It is long past time for the states to exercise their sovereign power under Article V to call for a convention to reign in the federal government’s power. Two thirds of the states must call for such a convention. Thirteen states have already done so, and a Convention of States Resolution is currently pending in the Mississippi Legislature. Mississippi should join the call.

    While some have expressed worry that the convention may make things worse and not better, citizens are amply protected from any threats to their liberty. The convention call that Mississippi legislators are considering would limit the proposals that could be considered to those that either impose fiscal restraints on the federal government or limit its power and jurisdiction. Other states have also voted to allow discussion of proposals to impose term limits on federal officials, but Mississippi’s resolution does not include that subject.

    Moreover, any amendments that are proposed by the convention would have to be ratified by three quartersof the states. Any ill-considered amendments would not survive that crucible.

    The far greater risk is inaction. We know with certainty that, without action from the states, our federal government will continue to grow and spend unchecked. Amending our Constitution to remedy this threat is no insult to our founders. It’s an acknowledgement of their wisdom in equipping us with the tools necessary to overcome a threat to our Republic which they foretold so many years ago.

    Aaron Rice is director of the Mississippi Justice Institute (MJI). Ilya Shapiro is director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute and chairman of the board of advisors of MJI.
              Re: The Warren Breakup Plan      Cache   Translate Page      

    Both outcomes result in monopolies because of natural network effects. The real issue is which system addresses risk better. Networks reduce risks; not individuals. So the real question is, which is a better network that is both generative and sustainable?

    At the same time we measure outcomes along standard and pareto (power law) distributions. These tend to show relative, not absolute, change of the network or ecosystem(s). While we might posit that the last 30-40 years of more laissez-faire capitalism under neo-liberalism has resulted in great advancements, it has come at great cost; social (alienation, polarity), environmental (climate) and financial ($300 trillion of debt foisted on future generations). So we question its sustainability.

    Rather, as I say to Richard above, we need a new network system; namely equilibrism. The latter will ultimately result in healthier networked ecosystems that are both generative AND sustainable.


              Carbon Monoxide News March 13, 2019, posts updated frequently      Cache   Translate Page      
    Every day is a carbon monoxide safety education day.
    Scroll back in time through our archives for previous CO News links.
    We can learn from others mistakes and efforts to prevent poisoning.

    Carbon monoxide safety, we are all in this together, now!

    “Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings.”
    Victor Hugo (1802-1885, bio link)

    "Fill Your Head With Laughter" Brian Auger's Oblivion Express - music link

    Daily News Links Are Below These Opening Questions And Warnings
    How much carbon monoxide are you in when in any motor vehicle?

    Did you know that many people do not measure the air they breathe?

    After prevention there is no greater awareness than measurement.
    Awareness leads to quick thinking. Measurement leads to quick action.

    Are you in the know?

    Do I know enough about carbon monoxide and carbon monoxide poisoning to justify never knowing how much is in the air I breathe every day, everywhere I go?”

    There are some people who want to be notified of the presence of carbon monoxide at levels or concentrations as soon as the gas is present, at concentrations well below those that can instigate poor health symptoms but not be high enough levels to sound the CO alarm they own.

    There are some people who do not want to push a button on their CO alarm to see what low, aggravating levels of the poison might be in their home, or anywhere.


    The most recommended CO Alarm in U.S. is a high level alarm

    Standard for Single and Multiple Station Carbon Monoxide Alarms
    UL 2034
    1.3 Carbon monoxide alarms covered by this standard are not intended to alarm when exposed to long-term, low-level carbon monoxide exposures or slightly higher short-term transient carbon monoxide exposures, possibly caused by air pollution and/or properly installed/maintained fuel-fired appliances and fireplaces…

    Bob Dwyer
    Carbon Monoxide Safety Association

    COSA provides Carbon Monoxide safety education and training.

    World Wide Reports - Pollution and Health Effects 
    Carbon Monoxide News Links –
    More news links below (International Spelling; no edits)

    Lincoln family safe after carbon monoxide scare
    1011now
    LINCOLN, Neb. -- Allison Richtarik smelled natural gas in her home this morning and called Black Hills Electric to figure out the problem. When Black Hills tested for natural gas in the home, they found it had 240 parts-per-million of carbon monoxide, which is odorless. - Her grandson had taken panels off of the furnace, and she had replaced them in the wrong place. The misplaced panels were causing the exhaust to funnel back into the house. The family said they had been feeling strange all week. (More)

    Have you tested your smoke alarm recently?
    CapeGazette.com
    The National Fire Protection association reports 70% of smoke alarms that did not work during a fire had missing or dead batteries. Have you tested yours recently? - It's a good idea to get in the habit of changing the batteries in your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors when you change your clocks for Daylight Saving time. - As a rule of thumb, it’s important to change your detector batteries yearly, test your detectors monthly and replace the entire alarm every ten years. - Take some time this month to check that your detectors are installed correctly to keep yourself and your family safe. (More)

    'Carbon monoxide poisoning reason behind Madaba couple's death'
    Jordan Times
    AMMAN - The 83-year-old man and his 66-year-old wife, who lived alone, were found dead by police after a neighbour contacted authorities to report an odd odour emitting from the home in Malih town, a senior official source said. - “A neighbour, who noticed her neighbours had not be seen for three days, went to check on them and smelled something bad and decided to contact the police,” the official source told The Jordan Times. - Investigators found the woman in a chair, while her husband was lying on the floor with a gas heater next to them, according to the official source. (More)

    Please Note: "Place a carbon monoxide alarm with a digital display on a seat in the motor vehicle when you are out driving in emergency snow conditions (or always for that specific). Harmful levels of carbon monoxide (CO) can penetrate inside a motor vehicle just due to prevailing winds and exhaust not moving away from the vehicle but under it. If you want to learn more about carbon monoxide, begin measuring it with a personal CO monitor everywhere you go." Bob Dwyer, CSME Carbon Monoxide Safety 
      
    Scroll Down For More of Today's CO & Air Quality News Links 

    Please, stop diagnostic errors; start testing for carboxyhemoglobin
    --------
    Video - Propane (LPG) tanks of any size can violently compound a structure fire – KEEP THEM OUTSIDE
    BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion) Demonstration - How it Happens Training Video--------

    Carbon Monoxide Intoxication 
    Journal of Neurology and Neuroscience
    Carbon monoxide (CO) intoxication is one of the main causes of poisoning in industrialized countries and it often leads to diagnostic errors…

    Carbon monoxide intoxication. 
    nih.gov
    However individuals with ischemic heart disease may experience chest pain and decreased exercise duration at COHb levels between 1% and 9%. COHb levels between 30% and 70% lead to loss of consciousness and eventually death…


    Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips
    National Fire Protection Association
    … If the CO alarm sounds, immediately move to a fresh air location outdoors or by an open window or door. Make sure everyone inside the home is accounted for. Call for help from a fresh air location and stay there until emergency personnel….

    NOTE: Listed U.L. 2034 & CSA 6.19 Carbon Monoxide Alarms
    VISUAL DISPLAY:
    Must not display under 30PPM in normal operation
    AT 70, 150 & 400 PPM display must be accurate within plus or minus 30 Percent

    SENSITIVITY TESTING: Resist alarming first times shown, must by second shown time
    70PPM [PLUS OR MINUS 5PPM ... [BETWEEN 60 _ 240 MINUTES]
    150PPM [PLUS OR MINUS 5PPM] ... [10 - 50 MINUTES]
    400PPM [PLUS OR MINUS 10PPM ... [4 - 15 MINUTES]

    “CITIZENS WILL CONTINUE TO DIE & BECOME SERIOUSLY ILL DAILY!”

    George Kerr (1933-2017)

    More news links below –

    We have all been CO poisoned, some more than others
    We have all inhaled carbon monoxide. We are a world of fire users.

    What is in the air you are breathing right now?

    What will you be doing today; walking into poison?
    Who will be responsible for the air you breathe?
    You may be the only person who can prevent your own poisoning.
    We are all vulnerable to carbon monoxide exposure and poisoning.
    Everyone has been poisoned by CO and will be poisoned again. The degree of the poisoning depends upon allowing yourself to be in a situation where someone else controls the air you breathe and the mechanisms for alarming notification.

    Please read the alarm information on the package and in the instructions that come with the carbon monoxide alarm. Know that if it is a U.L. 2034 Listed product (or CSA 6.19 Listed), it is a high level alarm that has been tested to alarm no sooner than 70 PPM at the lowest (the alarm must resist for one hour when above this level) and when over 400 PPM before 15 minutes at the highest concentration, after resisting alarming for 4 minutes when over this level.

    Know when your fire department and emergency responders begin wearing their breathing apparatus and what their civilian evacuation levels are for carbon monoxide; it may be as soon as the gas is present in your presence. Pregnant women, infants & children, people with heart & respiratory struggles, those suffering depression or chronic headaches and all people of vulnerable health should be alerted as soon as the gas begins to concentrate, around 10 PPM (parts per million) or lower.

    You most likely need a low level carbon monoxide detector to sound off when carbon monoxide hazards are just beginning, not after you’ve been exposed to levels that make you have headaches, flu-like symptoms, increased tiredness, heart stresses or worse.

    Do not take risks with carbon monoxide. Take responsibility for the air you breathe and the combustion systems you are responsible for. If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for others, unless you think $45.00, high level protection is good enough.

    Help prevent injuries and deaths; don’t guess about carbon monoxide. Measure carbon monoxide for safety and knowledge. The more you test the more you learn. GET BUSY

    Measurement is continuing education at its best. Bob Dwyer, CSME Carbon Monoxide Safety
    "Love Song To The Earth" - Official Lyric Video

    CO, Air Quality & Pollution News Links
    World Air Quality Index - Live Link

    Can we tweak marine chemistry to help stave off climate change?
    San Francisco Chronicle
    We and other researchers see the ocean as a logical place to look for additional carbon dioxide removal opportunities since it currently passively absorbs about 10 gigatons (10,000,000,000 tons) of CO2 per year or about one-quarter of the world’s annual emissions. - In addition, the oceans contain vastly more carbon than the atmosphere, soils, plants and animals combined, and may have the potential to store trillions of tons more. (More)

    These teens have some ideas for stopping climate change
    Science News for Students
    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Climate change can be overwhelming. - Over the past 250 years, human activities have warmed the planet’s surface, changed weather patterns and even made the oceans more acidic. - Halting or slowing down these changes requires that people stop putting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in high amounts. - The problem is too large for any one person to fix. - But what if you could? What if you suddenly had the power to do one thing to stop climate change? What would you do with this huge responsibility? (More)

    Commentary: Farmers' efforts contribute to environmental gains
    California Farm Bureau
    The largest economic sector in greenhouse gas emissions was the transportation sector, representing 29 percent of all emissions. - Following transportation was the energy sector, representing 28 percent of all emissions. - The industry sector represented 22 percent of all emissions. - Overall, emissions from the industry sector have declined in recent decades, down 11 percent since 1990, due to the shift in the U.S. from a manufacturing-based economy to a service-based economy. - Other greenhouse gas emission sources, including commercial, residential and U.S. territories, represented 12 percent of all emissions. - These emissions were up slightly from 2017 due to higher greenhouse gas emissions from residential use. (More)
    ------
    Sit and rest a while; miss the children, prevent repeating this tragedy.
    Corfu carbon monoxide deaths: Memorial unveiled in Horbury 
    BBC News - A memorial bench to two young children who died from carbon monoxide poisoning while on holiday in Corfu has been unveiled in West Yorkshire…

    To all parents everywhere; grief's pain alerts others

    Out of tragedy comes the light of love
    Chester County Press
    Inside, Carly and Daulton had passed away from carbon monoxide poisoning. The gas tank was empty and the ignition was still on. Fumes from the exhaust had been drawn into the car through the air vents… “One of the best things for me is to talk to parents who have also lost a child,” Donna said.
    VideoNex
    In this informative and succinct video, learn how to identify and appropriately execute the use of a CO2 Fire Extinguisher…


    CDC Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 
    New Movie Release 2015
    Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. Public domain video from CDC. Carbon monoxide (sometimes referred to as CO) is a colorless, odorless gas produced ...
    A well put together video is found with the next link, but remember: U.L. 2034 Listed CO Alarms are high level alarms. Use them for protection against acute levels, but be aware you can still experience symptoms of the poisoning even though the devices are in place.

    DailyMotion
    About Carbon Monoxide and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

    JEMS.com - ...site has been designed with this in mind – to create a visual, interactive, educational resource which can hopefully end incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning and save lives… For more information, please visit - www.thesilentkiller.co.uk


    Who is responsible for the air you breathe?
    Take control inside your homes. 
    -Link to: → CO alarm standards – 
    The lowest U.L. 2034 & CSA 6.19 carbon monoxide alarm test point is:
    - 70 PPM to 149 PPM –resist one hour, must alarm before 4 hours

    Please read the alarm information on the package and in the instructions. Know when your fire department and emergency responders begin wearing their breathing apparatus and what their civilian evacuation levels are for carbon monoxide; it may be before 70 PPM. It is for pregnant women, infants & children, the elderly and all people of vulnerable health. Bob Dwyer, CSME Carbon Monoxide Safety

    Tribute
    George Kerr, a pioneer in smoke and carbon monoxide alarm manufacturing passed away in his home during the early morning of July 4, 2017. George will always be remembered for his passion to save lives and protect the health of people through low level carbon monoxide detection and alarming. He lived for over 84 years, beginning his career in fire safety in 1953. “We’ll never know how many lives we’re saving, but I know we are saving a few.” George E. Kerr (1933-2017)

    These following links may be of some use to you:
    - The World Clock - Time Zones







    - Carbon monoxide toxicity-Emergency Medicine Ireland
    - Carbon Monoxide Survivor- Views from those who have been poisoned.
    - Carbon Monoxide detection- National Fire Protection Association

    · Please take CARBON MONOXIDE SAFETY CARE during all holiday and everyday activities.
    ___ 

    U.S. Carbon Monoxide Laws for each state
    National Conference of State Legislatures
    As of March 2018, a majority of states have enacted statutes regarding carbon monoxide (CO) detectors, and another 11 have promulgated regulations on CO detectors. Alaska requires detectors approved by the state fire marshal be installed in all dwellings. Connecticut requires them in all new construction, as does New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia. Florida also requires them in new construction, and in every room with a boiler. Minnesota passed a law requiring detectors in motor boats.

    CO Detectors in U.S. Homes
    27 states and the District of Columbia require carbon monoxide detectors in private dwellings via state statute: Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia (via adoption of the International Residential Code), Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Certain states limit the installation to buildings with fossil-fuel burning devices, others only require the device be installed upon the sale of the property or unit.

    Another 11 states require carbon monoxide detectors in private dwellings regulatorily through the adoption of the International Residential Code or via an amendment to their state’s building code: Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia, and Wyoming.

    CO Detectors in U.S. Schools
    California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine and Maryland require carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in school buildings.

    CO Detectors in U.S. Hotels and Motels
    Fourteen states require the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in hotels and motels under the statute. - Three of those states (New Jersey, Vermont and Wisconsin) have complementary administrative regulations. - Two states (Kansas and Washington) have requirements through administrative regulations alone.
    ___

    Ontario Canada Carbon Monoxide Alarm Legislation
    Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services
    Hawkins-Gignac Act
    Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997
    ___ 

    Red Cross - Disaster Relief to safely assist law enforcement, fire department, utility company, city, county and state authorities as repair and rebuilding moves forward. Bob Dwyer, CSME Carbon Monoxide Safety

    Nationally, the Red Cross provides food and shelter to people affected by as many as 70,000 fires annually, or about one fire every eight minutes.

    The following companies
    are acknowledged for their continued support of carbon monoxide safety education and this daily news blog. They may just have what you are looking for.

    The Energy Conservatory
    Masimo - see RAD 57
    Mahugh Fire & Safety
    ESCO Institute
    TPI - Test Products International
    ------------------------------------------------

              Blue wings.      Cache   Translate Page      










    Photos by: Alazne Gardeazabal

    Crop top: Zara (aw 13-14)
    Printed skirt :DIY 
    Sneakers: Converse All Star
    Bag: Bimba y Lola

    Hey! It´s monday !
    I hope you like the skirt  my mum made for me. I love it!
    I combined it with sneakers for a sporty outfit  , it´s too short for heels ;)
    Have a good day babes.

    Today I listen...

    Under a trillion stars
    We danced on top of cars
    Took pictures of the stage
    So far from where we are
    They made me think of you
    They made me think of you

    Oh lights go down
    In the moment we're lost and found
    I just wanna be by your side
    If these wings could fly


     Wings (Birdy) 



               Comment on US Banks Report $251 billion of “Unrealized Losses” on Securities Investments in 2018, the Most Since 2008: FDIC by Iamafan       Cache   Translate Page      
    How about the more than 2 trillion on ZIRP bound Treasuries bought from 2009 to 2016. They are liquid. Yet they have lost a lot of value.
              10 Most Well Guarded Secrets about Marketing to Baby Boomers      Cache   Translate Page      
    Did you know baby boomers are a multi-trillion dollar demographic in the US?
              BrandPost: Next-Gen Data Center Networking – Built for AI, Powered by AI      Cache   Translate Page      

    Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) is creating new opportunities for businesses and consumers. Indeed, PwC, a major consultancy, expects AI to contribute over $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030 [1]. At the same time, within the data center, a move to micro-services-based software architectures, distributed storage, and Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning (AI/ML) workloads are pushing east-west traffic to previously unseen heights.

    Huawei’s Global Industry Vision (GIV) 2025 [2] predicts that the AI adoption rate will reach 86% by 2025. This will also have a big impact on the data center network, when AI/ML applications will drive the data center towards the AI era from the cloud era. Huawei is pleased to commission AvidThink, formerly SDxCentral research, to author a research brief covering the impact on data center networking by new workloads, including Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). If you’re ready to get your hands on a copy of “Next-Gen Data Center Networking - Built for AI, Powered by AI,” you can download a free copy from here. The following are some highlights from the report, though we’d still recommend you download and read through the 9 pages of content.

    To read this article in full, please click here


              Amazon: AI And The $10 Trillion Healthcare Opportunity      Cache   Translate Page      
    none
              Implementation Associate      Cache   Translate Page      
    NJ-Hackensack, If you are a Implementation Specialist with Software/SaaS experience, please read on! A start-up tech company without the "start-up" obstacles. Since our inception in 2009. we have successfully completed series B funding in 2015 and have achieve profitability. We are transforming the trillion dollar+ real estate industry by modernizing and automating the way our customer bill, collect, and post pa
              Trump's Proposed 10 Percent Budget Cut To USDOE Is Less About "Freedom" and More About "Accumulation By Dispossession"      Cache   Translate Page